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Sack lunches

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  • Sack lunches

    I don't know if this is true or not but it's a nice story.
    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.

    "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 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 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 sh e 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!

    Soon 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."
    Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.

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