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Sack lunches...

posted 3/13/2009 5:01:50 AM |
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A friend of mine sent this to me and I thought I'd pass it along. My baby brother Christopher was deployed on 03/08/09 to Qatar for 6 months leaving his wife Ann and daughter Jessica in Denver, CO - they already miss him as do his family. This is his 10th tour in his career in the USAF (he's a Lt Colonel) and we're all EXTREMELY proud of him. This blog is dedicated to my little brother...

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 to Afghanistan

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 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, an 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.' May God give you the strength and courage to pass this along to all your friends.... I JUST DID.

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Mar 13 @ 6:53AM  
A friend of mine had a similiar story....his son was waiting in an airport, leaving for Iraq, a stranger quietly paid his bill, and left without the soldier ever know who had paid for him.

My friend said he has adopted this idea, and now, everywhere I go, I am watching for "my soldier" to treat with a meal.

During our recent ice storm, many linemen and thousands of National Guardsmen from other states where here, trying to get us back up and running, after about a week, when a few resturants were open again, people were standing in line to try and pay for their meals.


Mar 13 @ 8:08AM  
Awesome!!! Thx for sharing!

Mar 13 @ 11:56AM  
What an awesome story.

Mar 13 @ 1:59PM  
Wow! What an inspiration! Thanks for sharing. I had tears in my eyes. The writing of the check to the government was the kicker. I never looked at it that way. I feel like I have not done my part.

Mar 16 @ 5:02PM  
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.'
This put tears in my eyes and shivers all over me.
Thank you for sharing it..

Jun 15 @ 10:45PM  
As a vet from 25 yrs ago..I am still proud of my service! Aside from my kids it is probably the greatest thing I will do in my life. Unfortunately back then it was not cool to be in the military. Vietnam was still too fresh in the country's memory. I salute everyone of our military members because I know the sacrifice they make. This story touched my heart.Our troops deserve the best but will do great things with what they have.

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Sack lunches...