Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Flight delays and respect
Posted by John McHale
During a five-hour flight delay I had in Dallas on Saturday I had plenty of time to people watch, surf the net, and down some large cups of Starbucks coffee.
The best part of the people watching was seeing the respect shown toward military personnel throughout the airport. Many travelers offered a simple "thank you for your service" or "where are you from" comment. The troops were mostly young men and women traveling between assignments or returning home from Iraq or other deployments.
I'm glad I saw it. Sometimes during trips we get so focused on our destination we miss the real-life reminders around us. It makes complaining about a lack of power outlets, poor wireless connections, or lousy airport food seem silly.
During your next trip if you come across some soldiers, sailors, or airmen please follow the example of those Dallas travelers and offer a hello or thank you or even a "come home safe."
I have extended family serving over seas and what we want most is their safe return. Their sacrifice is real and humbling.
The long delay was frustrating but worth it to witness behavior I have not seen toward military forces in foreign airports. It strikes me as uniquely American.