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sack lunches
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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject: sack lunches Reply with quote

I think you will really like this 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 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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TRBLSHTR
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

Very Happy An excellent story Crackshot-now I'm gettin all mistyeyed.At the end of Nam-nobody would even buy you a stick of gum! Sad I will always remember...........

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

There were those of us that did care about those returning from Nam......
All soldiers are heros in my book.

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OntheLasGallinas
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

When I came back, I just went on with my life. It wasn't until the Gulf War that it became popular to thank military men for their service. A younger friend came up to me during that time and asked me if I served in Vietnam. I told him that I was land-based over there for two years and he thanked me for my service. I was shocked. I didn't know how to react...........I just said thank you.

Cary

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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

Right On Flag Good story
Joe

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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

I remember my Father OFTEN sitting at the kitchen table late at night drunk with a loaded 45 crying after he came home in 1970. He served 2 tours. I often went to sleep with his sobs of mental misery from what he had done and or seen. He wanted to kill himself many times......me and my brothers and sisters are what kept him from doing it...or so he said later. He eventually got better with the help of Mom and us Kids, but it took along time. He died in 1997 from cancer that started in his liver and spread to his lungs and brain. He insisted on no pain meds, he died suffering horrible pain....I think it was his way of paying some kind of penance HE thought he owed for his deeds in Korea and Nam.
He was, and is, always will be, my Hero!
Thank you! to all veterans old and young.

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

Crackshot,
You did the right thing for all the right reasons. Thank you. All the best...
Gil

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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

Gil Martin, It helps alot to hear it. Thank you.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

Crackshot....there is nothing I can say that has not already been said mate.

A good story, one that I intend to copy and pass on to my mates I served with.

Salute

Cheers, Vince

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c404
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:16 am    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

Great thread and moving stories.
I learned today from a colleauge that today was the 25th anniversary of the Beirut truck bombing that took away so many young lives.
All soldiers have my respect.

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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

Just a note: Nov 10 is the Marine Corp's Birthday I believe. So Happy B-day to all you Jar heads old and new! Very Happy

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dust54
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: sack lunches Reply with quote

I am like TRBLSHTR, it really brought back memories. I spent 28 years in the military.

Crackshot I understand. My dad spent 24 years. He is a WWII, Korea, and Vietnam Veteran. I had a very hard dad when I grew up. He believed he would one day go to work and not come back, so he taught me to be the "man" of the household (this was early 60's). He has had Post Trumatic Stress Syndrome for the past years and we (the family) never even knew it. Finally the VA was able to identify it and he is getting help, he is now 80. He still has heavy metals in his blood from Agent Orange. He is doing very well now and the doctors think he will be living strong for may years to come.

I was flying medevac in Grafenwhor Germany when Beirut orccured. We transported the Marines to the different hospitals when they arrived in Germany. Happy Birthday to all Jar heads old and young!

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