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Applause for our Soldiers

October 19, 2007

A wonderful experience happened to me today. 

I was flying back from a great vacation in the Riviera Maya area of Mexico.  I had a 3 hour layover in Dallas at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.  I found a spot to plug my laptop in by gate B34.  I was getting settled in to get some work done now that vacation is over.  All of a sudden I began to hear applause and cheering.  Did someone just propose?  Was it a gathering of family that hadn’t seen each other in a long time?   It grew louder and closer to me so I stood up to see what all of the commotion was about. 

 

I discovered it was applause for about 80 soldiers who were returning from Iraq.  They were being greeted as they stepped through the gate by hugs from 3 American Airline employees.  They were then being cheered by a group of American employees and TSA Staff.  Those of us waiting for planes stood and applauded as well.  This applause went on for almost 10 minutes and followed these soldiers through the entire concourse. 

 

Their reactions were very mixed from polite “thank you’s” to very stern stares.  Many of their eyes looked distant.  Some were tearing up as they walked through the gauntlet of cheering people.  I teared up as well.   Some were smiling, some were staring straight ahead, showing no emotion. 

 

I know that the opinions of the war in Iraq are varied throughout our country.  I’m grateful that we’re not taking this out on those wonderful men and women I had the honor to applaud for 10 minutes today at DFW. 

 

I’m not sure how often this happens in airports throughout the U.S.  I travel often and this was the first time I was able to experience such a wonderful act of gratefulness from those of us who honor what these men and women are doing to fulfill their duty to our country.

 

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