Last year I was in Washington D.C. for a conference and while that was an awesome experience, the truly amazing experience was my flight home. I shared a flight with veterans that were on a one day trip to D.C. It was quite possibly the coolest experience of my life.
The airline asked all of us to wait to board until after the veterans were on. I was happy to see that my seat was near the group. The men all had something on that showed which war/conflict they were in. Some even had on buttons with pictures of them from back in the day. It was amazing.
I overheard some of them talking about their day. I wish I could have seen them throughout the day. I wonder what was going through their minds. I wanted to give them all a hug and say thank you.
The vets stayed on the plane once we landed, they were going to be the last ones off. Once I stepped off the plane I almost immediately burst in to tears. There were bagpipers waiting for the veterans. Once they came off the plane the bagpiper began playing and everyone in the gate cheered. It was completely indescribable.
The fanfare didn't end there. When I went through security there were people waiting there with signs and American flags.
These men were veterans of WWII and some from Korea and Vietnam. These men sacrificed so much and came back with so many scars, both visible and invisible. Being able to see them have this moment and to know that people still honor them was amazing and something I will not forget.
I cannot remember the name of the group that put this together, but they are truly amazing. Thank you and thank you to the airline for making these men feel so special. Most importantly, thank you to these men and women who sacrificed everything for us.