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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Paying it Forward - "Nineteen"-style

Nationally, today is Veterans' Day, but it should be everyday for the service these men and women have provided and continue to provide for our great nation. As Taylor Hicks reminds us during a recent show, stop to thank a soldier. It's a small gesture on our part that means a great deal to the one receiving it, especially when they give so freely of themselves for our freedom.

On a recent flight, I had the privilege to witness a small gesture of kindness from a fellow passenger. The man had received an upgrade to first class while his friend was sitting in coach, just a row up from me. He was chatting away, when a soldier boarded the plane and headed for the seat the man was standing near. Without hesitation, the man gave the soldier his seat in first class and then proceeded to take the soldier's seat. The soldier was tall, and the extra leg space in first class was probably much needed. The soldier tried to refuse, but the passenger wouldn't take no for an answer.

The men took their seats, the flight attendant retrieved the man's newspaper, and the doors to the plane were shut. The flight attendant, in gratitude to the passenger, provided him with whatever he wanted or desired in terms of beverage and snacks.

I don't know what he had, but thought about his gesture, and wondered, "what I have been able to do the same?" Would you?

To all the men and women who serve in our military, and to their families and friends, I say thank you for a job well done. To those who have gone before, like my father, I say thank you for a job well done. To those who will provide our military protection in the future, I say you have some mighty big boots to fill, but thank you in advance.

Let every day be Veterans' Day, for every veteran has earned that honor. Thank you for your service, now and forever.

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KarinP said...
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KarinP said...

I think it is absolutely wonderful that you were able to witness this very special gesture of kindness. You pose an excellent question "Would I have been able to do the same?"

I think it is more a matter of would the idea of the gesture crossed into your mind at that particular time? Everyone is generally pre-occupied and easily distracted when trying to get settled into their seats.

These days, we are all so busy doing what we are doing and I think it is wonderful that the man gave up his seat. It is possible that he does this all of the time and it just came naturally to him to do it. Perhaps, with more practice, it will come naturally to all who see those in uniform.

Thank you for sharing the beautiful story that will surely remind all of us to slow down and notice what is going on around us because "maybe" there is a "pay it forward" moment that we can be a part of. The troops and their families deserve our attention and respect as you mentioned. They are so brave to do what they do for us.

Anonymous said...

A very nice story, Rags. Thanks for recalling it for us.

Everyday should be a time to appreciate the "right to pursue" life, liberty and happiness. We all might not achieve our goals , but the "right to pursue" is kept alive by the many men and women who help to defend our country .

Happy Veteran's Day on Nov. 11 but Happy Freedom Day ,365 days a year.


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