Coming Home

The applause started before I could see anything. Suddenly all around me people were standing up, cheering and waving. It was a standing ovation in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport -- a standing ovation for soldiers returning from Iraq. Dressed in camouflage fatigues, they entered the glass passageway one floor above where I sat waiting for my connecting flight back to Vancouver yesterday. They waved. The people around me waved harder. My arm joined in. My eyes grew teary. I heard one lady say, "God Bless You All!" over and over again. The lady next to her glowed with excitement. She radiated patriotism. This was the closest I had ever been to all that was happening in Iraq. Suddenly it was all very real. A plane arrives everyday with more than 100 soldiers on their way home for two weeks of rest and recuperation. Each plane is showered with affection (a water salute by DFW Fire and Rescue Officers). The R + R flights first started in November 2004. So many flights home. Five and a half hours later, I too exited the gate and walked into the glass passageway above the departure level at Vancouver International Airport. Home at last. No one even looked up or paid any attention to the passengers on American Airlines Flight 1379. No hero's welcome for us. No welcome at all. Arriving the other way was so much more exciting. We need to recognize more heros. We need to look up and see the heros all around us.
Michele Joller

Michele Joller

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Prudential Estates (RMD) Ltd.
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