Sack Lunches

Author unknown, but worthy to be posted

AS WE NEAR VETERANS DAY, I HOPE THIS REACHES MANY IN BOXES. TAKE EVERY
OPPORTUNITY TO THANK THOSE WHO ARE SERVING AND KEEP THEM IN YOUR
PRAYERS.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

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. ‘Chicago – to Great
Lakes
Base. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Iraq ‘

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 Chicago, 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 Chicago’.  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 in Chicago 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.’

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One Response to “Sack Lunches”

  1. Don Sharp Says:

    SEE!!! There IS good in the world. Believe and have hope!


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