Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Returning Home.

Tuesday Oct 17th Clyde and I took the red eye home to Maine.  This trip was long over due as we had not been home in 2 years.   The day was hectic and as each minute passed I was more excited to be spending the next 10 days with my family.  We arrived at Sea-Tac hurried and exhausted.  As I boarded the plane the anticipation of hugs, smiles, laughter and family reminded me that I really need to do this more often.

It was early morning when we arrived in Atlanta, for a quick layover, and I remember thinking just a few more hours.  I closed my eyes and pictured my Mom and Dad meeting us at the airport with open arms, happy to whisk us off to a long overdue family dinner that evening.

The flight was uneventful, the landing was smooth and I was anxious to grab a quick breakfast and a cup of coffee before we boarded the next flight to Portland.  As the plane approached the runway we double checked the pockets in the seats in front of us, gathered up our ipod, magazines and a now crumpled, half eaten bag of Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers.

As we taxied towards the gate a flight attendant came over the loudspeaker, “Welcome to Atlanta. Ladies and Gentleman we'd like to take a moment to thank our armed services who are flying with us today and we'd like to send out a very special thank you to Sgt. "..." who is accompanying one of our fallen soldiers home.  We have a special request to ask of you.  Please allow Sgt. “...” and our other soldiers to deplane first so they can continue to escort our fallen soldier.  We appreciate you remaining in your seats and as soon as the Captain turns off the seat belt sign, you may begin to deplane.”

As the plane came to a complete stop, there was no movement as the entire plane sat in silence.  Tears welling in my tired eyes I could not help but think of what it means for all of us  "returning home".  We all watched with honor and respect as a highly decorated Sgt. quietly arose from his seat, retrieved his bag from the overhead compartment and started walking off the plane.  Once he had deplaned,  about 10 other soldiers stood up, grabbed their backpacks and followed him off the plane.  The sight of this was overwhelming, and my heart just ached at the thought of a very different family reunion.  Heavy tears now running down my cheeks we gathered our own bags and walked, in silence, off the plane that had instantly become sacred ground. 

I have though a lot about that Soldier during the past few weeks and the soldier's whose job it is to ensure that every fallen soldier returns home.   

It is with great honor and deep appreciation that I say, Thank you, to all of our armed services, your dedication to this country is a gift.  May you all safely return home to the loving open arms of your families.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...