Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Sack Lunches

I've seen this many times, and I wanted to make sure you saw it too...

The Sack Lunches


I put my carry-on in the luggage
compartment and sat down in my
assigned seat. It was going to be a
long flight. 'I'm glad I have a
good book to read. Perhaps I will get
a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of
soldiers came down the aisle and
filled all the vacant seats, totally
surrounding me. I decided to
start a conversation.
'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

'Petawawa. We'll be there for two
weeks for special training, and then
we're being deployed toAfghanistan

After flying for about an hour, an
announcement was made that sack
lunches were available for five
dollars. It would be several hours
before we reached the east, and I
quickly decided a lunch would help
pass the time..

As I reached for my wallet, I
overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he
planned to buy lunch.
'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch Probably
wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base '

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other
soldiers. None were buying lunch I
walked to the back of the plane and
handed the flight attendant a
fifty dollar bill.
'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed
tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a
soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up
the aisle to where the soldiers
were seated. She stopped at my seat
and asked, 'Which do you like
best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why
she asked. She turned and went to
the front of plane, returning a
minute later with a dinner plate from
first class. 'This is your thanks..'

After we finished eating, I went
again to the back of the plane,
heading for the rest room.
A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it.
Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I
saw the Flight Captain coming down
the aisle, looking at the aisle
numbers as he walked, I hoped he was
not looking for me, but noticed he
was looking at the numbers only on
my side of the plane.
When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said,
'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I
stood and took the Captain's hand.
With a booming voice he said, 'I was
a soldier and I was a military pilot.
Once, someone bought me a lunch.
It was an act of kindness I
never forgot.' I was embarrassed
when applause was heard from all of
the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the
plane so I could stretch my legs.
A man who was seated about six rows
in front of me reached out his
hand, wanting to shake mine. He left
another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my
belongings and started to deplane.
Waiting just inside the airplane door
was a man who stopped me, put
something in my shirt pocket, turned,
and walked away without saying a
word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the
soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them
and handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some time to
reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight
feeling the love and respect of their
fellow travelers. As I walked
briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return.
These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only
give them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one
point in his life, wrote a blank check
made payable to 'The United States of
America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too
many people in this country who
no longer understand it.'

22 comments:

babyrocasmama said...

Beautiful.

Crying...

Vickie said...

There are still good people in the world:)

Bee and Rose said...

Everytime I read this, I bawl my eyes out...today is no exception...

Thank you for this lovely reminder. It's the beginning of National Friendship Week...you couldn't have posted it at a better time!

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh Jeannie. I just love this. It gave me chills. I am so thankful for them. So very, very thankful! Thank you for posting this.

Frances said...

Great post!

Our son is a Soldier and our son-in-law is a Marine. They are always surprised and touched when people show gratitude for their service.

I appreciate all who serve, both the military and their families.

Anne said...

That makes me tear up every time I see it. Thank you so much for posting it again - it's so beautiful.

Cherie said...

I have seen that once before but I could read it 10 more times and still get the goose bumps I have right now!
God Bless our servicemen and women!!
God Bless those who support them!

Heatherlyn said...

Great post! There are so many wonderful service men and women who deserve so much more honor and respect for all they give.

MaBunny said...

Read this several times before and always brings a smile to my face!

Cassie said...

I could read this a thousand times, and get teary eyed every single time.

AK Stamper said...

Hey Jeannie,
I've read this before and it's always a good read.........and always need a tissue too!

Shell~Alaska
SBS28

KatCollects said...

Oh wow, that made me cry. I have never seen it. I have always had great respect for those who serve and have served in the military. But I have to tell you that since Matthew joined the Army, it has grown much stronger. And not only for those who serve but their family too, I know now how every Mother has ever felt when their child enlisted. Tears everywhere...
Hugs,
Kathy

Christina said...

applauding now that's how it should be!

Deanna said...

I tear up every time I read this and say a prayer of thanks for the good people in this world and for our soldiers. Thanks for the share.

Janelle said...

wow, that was beautiful, thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

What a sweet and kind post. I wanted to say Thanks for stopping by my place when Yaya was there. Have a great day...

The Blonde Duck said...

That's really cool! Soldiers do so much for us! And they're so under appreciated! When were were flying to Tampa we saw so many reserve folks flying on their own dime--so selfless!

LadyStyx said...

great share...hadn't read it before.

Stephanie Faris said...

Your blog looks like so much FUNNNNNNNNNN! I once wrote a blog about my experiences at the airport in Chicago where we were delayed for 8 hours (gotta love American Airlines) and jerked around and generally treated like hamsters. These two uniformed men sat over in the corner, silent, as everyone complained. They'd been over in the desert for months and there all of us prissy customers were complaining. It was a HUGE wake-up call to me in how spoiled we all are.

Michelle said...

What a special post! We all needed to hear that today

Yaya said...

Girl you did it again and brought me to tears.

Megan R. said...

Thank you for sharing that, it made me cry.