Thought this was really neat.
Hope you enjoy it!!
The writer and his wife live in LA and both work for Uncle Sam.
>Dear Friends and Family,
>I hope that you will spare me a few minutes of your time to tell you
>about something that I saw on Monday, October 27.
>I had been attending a conference in Annapolis and was coming home on
>Sunday. As you may recall, Los Angeles International Airport was closed
>on Sunday, October 26, because of the fires that affected air traffic
>control. Accordingly, my flight, and many others, were canceled and I
>wound up spending a night in Baltimore.
>My story begins the next day. When I went to check in at the United
>counter Monday morning I saw a lot of soldiers home from Iraq. Most
>were very young and all had on their desert camouflage uniforms. This
>was a change from earlier, when they had to buy civilian clothes in
>Kuwait to fly home. It was a visible reminder that we are in a war. It
>probably was pretty close to what train terminals were like in World War
>Many people were stopping the troops to talk to them, asking them
>questions in the Starbucks line or just saying "Welcome Home." In
>addition to all the flights that had been canceled on Sunday, the
>weather was terrible in Baltimore and the flights were backed up. So,
>there were a lot of unhappy people in the terminal trying to get home,
>but nobody that I saw gave the soldiers a bad time.
>By the afternoon, one plane to Denver had been delayed several hours.
>United personnel kept asking for volunteers to give up their seats and
>take another flight. They weren't getting many takers. Finally, a
>United spokeswoman got on the PA and said this, "Folks. As you can see,
>there are a lot of soldiers in the waiting area. They only have 14 days
>of leave and we're trying to get them where they need to go without
>spending any more time in an airport then they have to. We sold them
>all tickets, knowing we would oversell the flight. If we can, we want
>to get them all on this flight. We want all the soldiers to know that
>we respect what you're doing, we are here for you and we love you."
>At that, the entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people, a
>cross-section of America, broke into sustained and heartfelt applause.
>The soldiers looked surprised and very modest. Most of them just
>looked at their boots. Many of us were wiping away tears.
>And, yes, people lined up to take the later flight and all the soldiers
>went to Denver on that flight.
>That little moment made me proud to be an American, and also told me why
>we will win this war.
>If you want to send my little story on to your friends and family, feel
>free. This is not some urban legend. I was there, I was part of it, I
>saw it happen.
>United States Department of Defense
My comments are absolutely no reflection of, nor influenced by, my employer - take them at your own risk.