Monday, February 27, 2006

Welcome Home

This is a great story from my beloved cousin Joe in Seattle. I've been slacking on this site due to major transitions in my personal and professional life but will be posting more regularly from now on. Hi everyone!

Hey Joan-

I have a little story to add to gooddeed, if you care to.

My current job requires that I travel fairly often, and most of my flights are completely mundane and uneventful.

I recently had an experience on a flight, however, that was definitely noteworthy.

I was flying home to Seattle after a week in Dallas. While the plane was boarding, I could not help but notice a group of fifteen or twenty military personnel on the flight. With all the troops in transit these days, this is not at all unusual, though.

When we landed at SeaTac, the flight attendant came on the intercom and told us that these troops were just getting home to Seattle after a year's deployment in Iraq. She asked that we all remain seated and let the soldiers deplane first to speed their return to their homes and families.

I've been on several flights where the flight attendants ask people to remain seated so that passengers with tight connecting flights could get off first and have better odds of making their next flight, and it never works.

This was completely different. When the seatbelt light went out, nobody got out of their seat. We all sat waiting as the soldiers made their way off the plane. As they moved through the aisle, applause burst out spontaneously. Many people called out "Welcome home!" and "We're proud of you!"

Some of the soldiers smiled, some were stoic and some looked like they were about to cry.

It was quite moving.

It was clear to me then that I do not have to agree with the mission in order to honor the men and women who are willing to put it all on the line for our country.