(Yahoo) — Delta Flight 2255 from Atlanta to Los Angeles seemed to be an ordinary flight with the exception of Candy, who was the most loving flight attendant I’ve ever encountered. Besides using her Southern charm to quickly defuse every situation, she began her welcome announcement by thanking the handful of uniformed soldiers on-board for serving our country. Her poignant message was followed by applause, and it put into perspective that none of us would be able to do what we do without these brave men and women.
But this transcontinental flight turned out to be everything but ordinary. We later learned, when the captain got on the PA system about 45 minutes prior to landing, that we were transporting a fallen soldier. The plane went quiet as he explained that there was a military escort on-board and asked that everyone remain seated for a couple of minutes so the soldiers could get off first. He also warned us not to be alarmed if we see fire trucks since Los Angeles greets their fallen military with a water canon salute. See my video below.
Great story. There are very few people in this world whose hand it’s a true honor to shake. There are even less whose body it’s a true honor to escort home. The list begins and ends with soldiers. The men who gave their life for our right to live in this great country. As I read this, I got to thinking about all the soldiers I see when I travel. Practically every time you go in an airport, you’ll see a soldier in uniform, traveling somewhere. But we never stop to think where. Often, these men are going to war. Not on vacation, like us. These heroes are on business and are heading off to protect our freedoms. And, in all the times I’ve seen a soldier in a terminal, I’ve never once thought, “He might be coming home in a casket, draped with the Stars and Stripes.” It’s crazy, really. We see these heroes every day and share cabins with them almost every time we fly. But we never truly think about it and give them the honor they deserve until they’re deceased. Well this story reminded me to thank a soldier every time I see him rushing from one concourse to another, because he’s rushing to put his life on the line for me, and he might not make it back.