01 March 2017

A Homecoming

While standing in line to board a Southwest Airlines flight at Orlando International Airport recently, I heard the sound of applause behind me in Terminal A concourse near our gate, 128.  

Turning around, I observed about two dozen U.S. soldiers quickly disembarking their Southwest plane at gate 126.  Passengers waiting to board the outbound flight at that location were giving them a rousing ovation. 

Now looking in that direction, passengers for our flight began applauding as well.  The display of appreciation was catching as other passengers in gate areas on both sides of the concourse were doing the same--expressing thanks to these American troops coming home.  

There was no way to tell where the service men and women were deployed, but that didn't matter. A few that were tearfully met by family members seem to indicate that wherever it was, the time away was likely an extended separation.  

As the soldiers moved down the concourse, other passengers, perfect strangers waiting for their flights, noticed the troops, and they, too, responded with enthusiastic applause.  

What began as a spontaneous show of appreciation at one gate continued as a wave of recognition until the soldiers turned the corner near the trams, which would take them terminal side to loved ones anxiously awaiting their safe return.

This was a spontaneous and uplifting moment in a world of staged and superficial events.  

Welcome home.


(C) Bredholt & Co.