Sack Lunch for the Soldiers
by John Michael Domino
Rated "G" by the Author.
edited: Thursday, September 02, 2010
Posted: Saturday, November 01, 2008
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Forward: I never post e-mail but this one was special. This one brought me to tears. I recall what it was like being on the a plane with one stripe on my arm going to a base in the middle of no where when I thought no one really cared. These acts of kindness and prayers really mean a lot to a soldier.
John Michael Domino, Major Ret. USAF
Subject: Sack Lunch for the soldiers
I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned
seat. It was going to be a long flight 'I'm glad I have a good book to
read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.
Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled
all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a
conversation. 'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated
next to me. ' Chicago - to Great Lakes Base. We'll be there for two weeks
for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq '
After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack
lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we
reached Chicago , and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the
time. As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he
planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack
lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago
His friend agreed.
I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I
walked t o the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar
bill. 'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and
squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was
a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'
Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were
seated She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef
or chicken?' 'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned
and went to the front of the plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate
from first class. 'This is your thanks.'
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading
for the rest room. A man stopped me. 'I saw what you did. I want to
be part of it. Here, take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.
Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down
the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not
looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my
side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his
hand, an said, 'I want to shake your hand.'
Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand.
With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot.
Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never
forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A
man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand,
wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.
When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to
deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me,
put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a
word. Another twenty-five dollars!
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip
to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars.
'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich.
God Bless You.'
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their
fellow travelers As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for
their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I
could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little...
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check
Made payable to 'The United States of America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'
That is Honor, and there are way too many people in
This country who no longer understand it.'
By the way..to all the vets who may be reading this....
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|Reviewed by John Martin
|A beatiful story, thanks for sharing. Sadly, someone running for president said the getting nominated was the first time he had faith in America. I have always had faith in my country, and have always been proud to be an American because of decent fellow Americans who do things like that. I can only ask...Where has this candidate been all of his life.|
|Reviewed by John Coppolella
|John Michael Domino,
Well written, and I can say this because I forgot I was reading it, I finished so effortlessly. I remember seeing Arlington Cemetery, from the train, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC. There were roses stuck into the cracks of the memorial, and plenty of homeless vets sleeping in the park next to it. It hurt me to see how we treat those we owe our freedom to. Thanks JMD for reminding me of how special we should treat these guardians of the republic to which we owe so much. I suppose the USO can't do it all. Oh yes the article!
It was thought provoking and touching. --- Rockie Coppolella
|Reviewed by Linda Settles
|Thank you for sharing this touching article, John. I love your comment: A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check Made Payable to'The United States of American' for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' Every veteran diserves our respect and admiration-- and that, my friend, includes you.
|Reviewed by Patricia Guthrie
|John, thanks for sharing that. I'd like to post it on my blog spot if that's okay. It's such an important message. I don't know how I'd feel if I were a soldier. I'd never thought about it. Until recently.|
|Reviewed by Bonnie May
|Wonderful write and wonderful read. Well penned my friend. Love, Bonnie|
|Reviewed by Keith Rowley
|Superb. Thanks very much for sharing this gem.|
John Michael Domino