Here’s a great email that was passed along to me and a reminder that a little heartfelt gesture can go along way.  The best part is, we can all make something like this happen….


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


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.’