Yesterday I flew to Charlotte to visit with Kathryn, Jeremy and little Katelyn. My flight was early out of Jackson and Stacy graciously took me to the airport and is keeping my car at her house. On the second leg of the flight, from Atlanta to Charlotte, the flight attendant got on the intercom about midway into our short flight to make an announcement. She said that there was someone special on board, a soldier who’d been serving a long tour of duty. He was sitting toward the rear of the plane and she asked that we allow him to get off the plane first. He’d been traveling for three long days and was anxious to see his wife. I wondered briefly what the reaction would be at the end of the flight, usually my experience is that everyone gets up immediately to get out into the aisle first. When we arrived at the gate everyone stayed seated; the flight attendant got back on the intercom, announced his name and asked that he please come forward to exit the plane. As he stood and began to make his way down the aisle the plane erupted into applause and continued until he was off the plane. I got a bit teary eyed when it happened! We saw him in baggage claim when Kathryn picked me up, I pointed him out and told her about it and she got teary too!
I’ve not experienced that when flying before, but thought it was kinda neat. It does make me proud to be an American! I’m thankful that we have men and women that serve in the military to defend our country and keep us safe.

17 Responses to ““And I’m Proud to be an American…””

  1. Stacy Says:

    Oh, that’s awesome! I LOVE hearing about things like that. We try to speak or smile at soldiers when we see them, and a couple of times, Tim and I have stopped and thanked them for their service to our country. They always looked dumbfounded, but pleased. This is just great, I’m so glad people applauded him and made him feel special 🙂

  2. Stacy Says:

    P.S. And you KNOW, I know this song title!!! I know every word to that song and I always get a big lump in my throat when I hear it 🙂

  3. Carrie Says:

    Awesome!!!! I just love hearing things like this. I’m so glad he got such a warm response! That’s how it should be! The story gave me chills and a lump in my throat. So touching! Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Karen Says:

    This story made me teary as well. I’ve read stories like it, passed around on e-mail, and I’m so glad to know that it really does happen. I’m proud of how our country is applauding our soldiers.

  5. JennaG Says:

    Thanks for sharing that touching story. That kind of stuff always makes me cry–and it’s so nice to hear after all the junk we hear on tv.

  6. Becky Says:

    That is so cool.I have seen groups of soldiers in the airport walking to baggage claim and people stop and part the way for them and applaud. It was so cool. I cried too. America has the greatest people on earth, despite our faults.

  7. Dawn P Says:

    That just makes me want to cry. I love our troops and esp. our friend that’s about to leave. It’s getting closer and closer and I hope and pray that people he meet along his journey to and from Iraq have that same pride when they see him! That was awesome. Thank you for sharing!!!!

  8. Stacy (the other one) Says:

    Oh yeah! I’m so glad that people were nice to him. I can’t imagine what they go through.

  9. Southern Girl Says:

    Heck, that made ME cry! I love that the whole planeload did that. Bless all those soldiers’ hearts.

  10. annie Says:

    I would have been crying too! That is so sweet!

  11. Debi Says:

    I got teary-eyed just reading that! Thanks for sharing that, Gail.

  12. Dawn Says:

    Wow. I am really glad they did that for him. =)

  13. kreed Says:

    What a great story – it is good to be reminded there is some patriotism and kindness occuring despite the negativity you see so often!

  14. Karen (mommy of three) Says:

    That is wonderful! I remember when my husband would go on deployment how anxious all of the wives were to see our husbands…that is such a joyous reunion!!

    We still have many friends in the military, but one in particular that will also be going to the war region soon. I am scared for him, but he is not. This is his life mission and he is so very proud to serve our country!

  15. Tammy Says:

    Oh, that brought tears to my eyes, too!

    And as a former military wife, who’s been separated from my husband for as long as a half year, this was so wonderful to read!

  16. Barb Says:

    I’m sure there were no dry eyes in that plane, Gail. How very moving.

    Just wanted to let you know your name is in the hat for the wedding favor giveaway so stay tuned tomorrow.

  17. Coach J Says:

    I’ve heard other stories like this, so I’m glad to know you were actually there when it happened! I would have clapped, too. They are doing us such a good job!

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