From Major Pain:
"These are the kinds of things that make us feel we are supported. Not so much the packages, or the verbal "atta boy", but these type of gestures - an AT&T operator dialing the numbers on your AT&T card because you're on an army phone. Airline letting you change your ticket without penalty 'cause you'er not going to make that vacation you planned last year. The airline giving soldiers a reduced fare when they get to Baltimore 'cause there's no way to buy a supersavor ticket 2 weeks in advance - there is no way to predict when we can even GET to Baltimore to USE such a tricket!!! Sometimes it takes 2 days, sometimes it take 4 days, sometimes you get stuck - in Kuwait, in Germany, in Baghdad."
She forwards this report:
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2003 — Nearly everyone has experienced
it at one time or another: an airport bogged down by bad
weather, delayed and cancelled flights, and cranky,
overtired travelers wanting nothing more than to get to
That's exactly what Will Ross, an administrative judge for
the Defense Department's Office of Hearings and Appeals in
Los Angeles, encountered Oct. 27 at Baltimore/Washington
But what he witnessed that day, he said, "made me proud to
be an American, and also told me why we will win this war
Like many of his fellow passengers, Ross had been forced to
spend the night in Baltimore. His outbound flight,
scheduled for the night before, had been cancelled due to
the California wildfires. They had forced the Los Angeles
International Airport to close, and the ripple effect drove
domestic travel nationwide into a tailspin.
When Ross reported to the United Airlines counter the
following morning for the next scheduled flight to Los
Angeles, bad weather and aircraft mechanical problems made
the prospect of a timely trip even more grim.
As he waited in the terminal, Ross noticed many soldiers in
their desert camouflage uniforms, newly arrived from
Southwest Asia. All, like Ross and the other passengers at
the airport, were awaiting connecting flights — but in the
soldiers' case, it was to begin two weeks of rest and
Flight delays continued and the airport had become, in
Ross's words, "a zoo." By the afternoon, one flight to
Denver had been delayed several hours. United Airlines
agents kept asking for volunteers to give up their seats
and take another flight, but Ross said they weren't getting
Finally, Ross said a United Airlines spokeswoman got on the
public address system and made a desperate plea. "Folks, as
you can see, there are a lot of soldiers in the waiting
area," the agent said. "They only have 14 days of leave and
we're trying to get them where they need to go without
spending any more time in an airport than they have to.
"We sold them all tickets knowing we would oversell the
flight. If we can, we want to get them all on this flight.
We want all the soldiers to know … we respect what you're
doing, we are here for you and we love you," the agent
"The entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people
-- a cross-section of America -- broke into sustained and
heartfelt applause," Ross said. "We're talking about
several hundred people applauding, a whole terminal.
"The soldiers looked surprised and very modest," he
continued. "Most of them just looked at their boots." Many
of the travelers in the terminal wiped away tears.
"And, yes," Ross said, "people lined up to take the later
flight and all the soldiers went to Denver on that flight."
Ross said he figured that 30 or 40 people had suddenly
jumped at the change to offer their seats to U.S. soldiers.
That moment, he said, reinforced his patriotism and his
heartfelt belief that the United States will prevail in the
war on terror.
"I think people realized that this fight is going to be
long and drawn-out, and these kids are in the thick of it,"
he said. "It was heartwarming to see their outpouring of
We know we support our troops.
Our sons. Our daughters. Our wives. Our husbands.
I wish the mainstream media knew it. Scratch that. I wish they would report it; they already know.