Monday, April 18, 2011

It never gets old

We are sitting in the hotel outside the Incheon airport.  The kids and I have been up and playing since around 4am, Marshall is sleeping.  He took the first shift with the kids and let me sleep a few hours, now I'm letting him sleep a few hours since he actually has to work the second half of today.  :)  In about 1 hour we'll get showered and pack up to head back to the airport to catch the first bus back to the base.

Yesterday during our travels there were lots of little reminders of being a military family.  First, when I got to Raleigh and checked in I was browsing in the Borders bookstore they have in the concourse.  I picked out a little paperback book to read and Mdx found an Easter booklet she wanted, but I didn't have my "Borders Rewards" card to get my discount.  Then the cashier saw my military ID and gave me a military discount- I didn't even know they offered one!  Sweet!

We got to our gate and almost all the seats were full.  There was only one open one left, and it was next to an Army soldier in uniform.  I had Mdx sit next to him and he offered me his seat, but Mav was snoozing in my baby carrier, so I explained that if I sat down it would probably wake up the baby.  I asked where he's headed and he said he was going back to Afghanistan after his R&R.  I wished him luck, and asked where his home base is.  It ends up he lives in Germany!  So we chatted about that for a while, and about life in Korea.  We were interrupted when a cute old man hobbled up and said "Son, are you coming or going?".  The soldier jumped out of his chair and said "Going sir!" and the man shook his hand and gave him a HARD pat on the back and thanked him for his service.  Then we watched him slowly walk down the concourse to every gate and shake the hand of any person in uniform he saw.  Now, THAT never gets old.  Next time you are looking to fill your time in an airport........

Once we were on our plane to Atlanta, there was another reminder.  The plane was full and they were asking for volunteers to give up seats.  One of the last guys to get on the plane sat in the row behind us.  He had been moved from his original seat close to the front of the plane because a woman pitched a fit at the desk about how she wasn't sitting next to her friend.  He lost his window seat and was stuck in the middle- but was being a good sport about it.  The flight attendant came back and was apologizing profusely to him for the rudeness of the other passenger, and said that they would provide him whatever beverages he'd like to drink for the flight.  He looked a few rows up at another soldier in uniform (different than the one I had chatted with) and said: "You can give all my drinks to him, he probably won't have many more for a while!".

So, whether you are giving handshakes or alcohol- saying "Thank you" and recognizing that just wearing the uniform means you have given up something- that will never get old.  At least not to me!

No comments: