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fallen hero

Discussion in 'For Sale- Members only' started by funski, May 24, 2011.

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  1. funski

    funski Member

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    Subject: FW: Fallen soldier returns home

    AIRLINE CAPTAIN:
    He writes: My lead flight attendant came to me and said, "We
    have an H.R. on this flight." (H.R. stands for human remains.) "Are
    they military?" I asked.
    'Yes', she said.
    'Is there an escort?' I asked.
    'Yes, I already assigned him a seat'.
    'Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board
    him early," I said..
    A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He
    was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier.
    He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of
    these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and
    still with us.
    'My soldier is on his way back to Virginia,' he said.
    He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.
    I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I
    told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I
    appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen
    soldiers.
    The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He
    left the flight deck to find his seat.
    We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an
    uneventful departure.
    About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight
    attendant in the cabin.
    'I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on
    board', she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father,
    mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband,
    and father home.
    The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that
    the soldier was in before we left. We were on our way to a major hub at
    which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight
    home to Virginia ...
    The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son
    was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was
    too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight
    attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see
    him upon our arrival.
    The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier
    being taken off the airplane.. I could hear the desperation in the
    flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could
    do..
    'I'm on it', I said. I told her that I would get back to her.
    Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of
    e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my
    flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.
    There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects
    you to the telephone of the dispatcher.
    I was in direct contact with the dispatcher.. I explained the situation
    I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted.
    He said he understood and that he would get back to me.
    Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were
    going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family.
    I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message
    from the dispatcher and the following is the text:
    'Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy
    on this now and I had to check on a few things.
    Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.
    The team will escort the family to the ramp and planeside. A van will
    be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The
    family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the
    terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private
    area for the family only.
    When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto
    the ramp and planeside to watch the remains being loaded for the final
    leg home.
    Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass
    our
    condolences on to the family. Thanks.'
    I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I
    printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass
    on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told
    me, 'You have no idea how much this will mean to them.'
    Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing.
    After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area.
    The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is
    always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter
    and exit.
    When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we
    were told that all traffic was being held for us.
    'There is a team in place to meet the aircraft', we were told. It
    looked
    like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the
    seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family
    from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the
    copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the
    gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the
    ramp controller said, 'Take your time.'
    I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public
    address button and said, 'Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain
    speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special
    announcement.
    We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect.
    His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life.
    Private
    XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is
    Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and
    daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to
    remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first.
    Thank you.'
    We continued the turn to the gate, came to a Stop and started our
    shutdown procedures.
    A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two
    forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see.
    I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft
    stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.
    When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly
    started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and
    soon the entire aircraft was clapping.
    Words of 'God Bless You', I'm sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind
    words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle
    and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally
    be with their loved one.
    Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I
    had made.
    They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over
    again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.
    I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the
    sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our
    freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA ...

    Footnote:
    As a Viet Nam Veteran I can only think of all the veterans including the
    ones that rode below the deck on their way home and how they were
    treated.
    When I read things like this I am proud that our country has not turned
    their backs on our soldiers returning from the various war zones today
    and give them the respect they so deserve.
    I know every one who has served their country who reads this will have
    tears in their eyes, including me.
    Prayer chain for our Military... Don't break it!
    Please send this on after a short prayer for our service men and women.
    Don't break it!
    They die for me and mine and you and yours and deserve our honor and
    respect.
    Prayer: 'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect
    them
    as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts
    they perform for us in our time of need. Amen.'
    Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and
    say a prayer for our troops around the world.
    There is nothing attached.
    Just send this to people in your address book.
    Do not let it stop with you.
    Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, &
    others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.
    GOD BLESS YOU!!!
    A good exercise for the heart is to reach out and help another up!
    ~ Have a blessed day! ~

    Notice: This e-mail (including attachments) is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 10 U.S.C. 2510-2521, is confidential and may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, dissemination, distribution, or copy of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please reply to the sender that you have received the message in error and then delete it. Thank you.
     
  2. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Thanks for posting

    Gene
     
  3. Russ-in-Pa

    Russ-in-Pa Well-Known Member

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    Well, you brought some tears to this ol redneck's eyes this morning.

    Thank you for posting.
     
  4. Juantoomany

    Juantoomany Member

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    AMEN!...
     
  5. Southpaw Sam

    Southpaw Sam Member

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    Returning from Viet Nam in 1966, yes, I have forgiven---- but will never forget---------- May God bless each & every person in our branches of military in The United States of America. Sam
     
  6. peteodie

    peteodie Member

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    Just had a Viet Nam silver star , 5 bronze stars and purple heart pass away and it is really good to see the change. Past Vet myself Bless ALL that have served.
     
  7. Mike Hessong* (MH*)

    Mike Hessong* (MH*) Active Member

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    Victoria, TX
    Stories like "funski" bring tears to my eyes, like the movie with Kevin Bacon "Taking Chance". If you haven't seen this movie, seek it out, WELL worth the time.

    We just had something down here in South Texas this past weekend, called Warrior's Weekend 5 (2011). It started in 2007 and is a way to give back to the wounded and disabled warriors who gave so much for this country. The group brings Warrior's from Houston (where they fly in from all around the country) in a massive caravan to Victoria, TX for a commemoration of a "Field of Honor" (this year they had over 2,100 3'x5' American flags beautifully displayed). Then the group heads down to Port O'Connor, Texas to participate in a fishing tournament, and the charter guides in Port O'Connor go "above and beyond" to treat these valiant heroes to a great day on the water, doing something that some only dreamed about doing after their injury! I have also included the Warriors Weekend website, and there are some great pictures on there as well. Hardly a dry eye any where around the boat loading docks as the Warriors come out to meet their fishing guides. In just this 5th year of this great event, the growth of it is almost mind-boggling, and I am so proud my local community is doing all they can to give these people what they deserve. Mike* (MH*)

    "copy and paste" the Facebook photo album link below to see the pictures I took last weekend.

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150319074676040.416140.722541039&l=0ca981cc79
     
  8. Mike Hessong* (MH*)

    Mike Hessong* (MH*) Active Member

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    Here's a couple of pictures taken at the "Field of Honor" in Victoria, TX as part of Warrior's Weekend.
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  9. claybuster38

    claybuster38 Member

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    fine posting. God bless -- Marv
     
  10. RDM

    RDM TS Member

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    Great post !!

    God Bless all of our men and women protecting our country !!

    And God Bless to all of thier family also !!
     
  11. GI

    GI Member

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    Which airline was this? I would like to give my support through use.
     
  12. Mike Hessong* (MH*)

    Mike Hessong* (MH*) Active Member

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    GI, I am not sure what airline (or airlines) they used to get the Warrior's to Texas. I bet if you contact someone at their website (I will attach it above in the website line), they should be happy to let you know and would be proud of your support. I heard that the time schedule that was set-up for the arrival in Victoria was delayed because of such a mass of people at the Houston airport. People just couldn't stop congratulating them and thanking them for their sacrifice as they were moving from the planes to their chartered buses. And it continued like that all the way to Victoria.. The buses stopped at Prasek's Smokehouse in Hillje, Texas (about 60 miles east of Victoria, and met up with a huge contingent of motorcycles and about 40 to 50 Warrior's rode the rest of the journey to Victoria on the back of some of the motorcycles. Awesome site, I will add a couple of pictures of those Warrior's as they went thru my home town of Edna, Texas. Mike Hessong* (MH*)
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  13. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    The was an HBO film (2009) based upon the book Taking Chance.

    Similar story but it follows the whole pathway from arrival at Dover AFB to internment in Wyoming.

    Kevin Bacon stared.

    Not a dry eye in my house when we watched it.

    God bless each and everyone who has served.
     
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