About a month ago I flew to visit my mom and dad in a distant city.
As I left the secured area of the airport, the passageway was packed with people. Absorbed in happy memories of home, it took me awhile to notice five or six large video cameras on tripods by the main entrance to the hallway.
“Someone really important must be coming,” I mused. With a few minutes to wait, I positioned myself behind the cameras to see who the celebrity was. Seconds later, the first cheers of excitement and affection erupted.
Why such a warm welcome? Who could the hero be? Then, I saw the young soldier. Taken by surprise, tears filled my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as I witnessed the heart-felt reunion with his eager family.
Before long, many servicemen and women appeared. Husbands, wives, parents, children, family, friends...long separated and joyfully reunited. The whole airport seemed to overflow with love and happiness. More than once I had to lower my gaze. The reunions seemed too personal, too special to watch.
The many sacrifices of military families were on vivid display:
- A wife/mom with fatigue and worry written on her face
- A shy young son, uncertain how to greet a dad who is now like a stranger
- Overjoyed children in worn out, mismatched clothes, unable to get enough attention
- Concerned parents offering support to a battle-weary daughter
- Worn baggage shoved into old, neglected cars
- And so on . . .
A call, a note, an invitation to dinner, a plate of cookies - there are many ways to express appreciation.
Let them know you are grateful for their service.
Who knows? You may brighten their day or help lighten a heavy load.