Honour and Respect.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by gautama, May 29, 2010.

  1. gautama

    gautama BANNED

    Aug 2, 2009
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    Honor and Respect.


    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

    '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 plane side. 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 plane side 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

    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 .

    Foot note:
    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.. Prayer for our soldiers
    Don't break it!


    '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.

  2. syrenn

    syrenn BANNED

    May 10, 2010
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    Nice story but I have problems with it. No one is allowed on the tarmac other then official airport personal.
  3. gautama

    gautama BANNED

    Aug 2, 2009
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    syrenn, special consideration for a special occasion. And, before you emitte lucem et veritatem in the future, learn to distinguish between "then" and "than" and "personal" and "personnel". Obviously, you have a more fundamental problem with THIS issue.
  4. syrenn

    syrenn BANNED

    May 10, 2010
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    :lol: In total agreement of which I don't deny. That's what editors are for.
  5. gautama

    gautama BANNED

    Aug 2, 2009
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    .........and schools. For some an addional modicum of intelligence is necessary.

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