When the casket rolls out onto the tarmac,
the men in their yellow vests come to ceremoniously greet you;
some with their reflective lights still in hand and voices still blaring in their ear pieces.
Check out the full poem here – “Flight Home”
As Seen at RDU International Airport on December 16, 2015. It was a typical business travel day for me. Rushing to the airport. Multi-tasking between conference calls, emails and trying to meet my flight time. Sparing hardly just a few mins if any before my flight boards.
I remember reaching the gate and noticing several armed servicemen standing around the edge of the gate area. I thought something strange in the beginning based on just how they were interacting with each other and with a few other plain dressed individuals. I sat down and didn’t think any of it anymore when about 15, 20 mins later, the announcer came over the loud speaker and announced that we would have a fallen soldier riding with us to St. Louis as their final destination home and that there was a ramp ceremony starting in honor of him. I looked around and sure enough in the middle of my last minute work before boarding, I didn’t notice that the entire group in which I spotted before was now gone. We were welcomed to watch the outside ramp ceremony where they all now stood from the terminal window. There was nearly a dry eye at the gate, even men sniffling and hiding tears. I was very moved by this even after we’d gotten on the plane, I could not control my emotions and was unsuccessfully pressing them down.
Total American killed in all US Wars is over 1.1 Million. For this 1 fallen soldier, I can’t stop thinking of who was he, who did he leave behind, what were his dreams and what was his thoughts of this war that he’s lost his life over. Today, we all get the opportunity to go about our day freely and return home when it’s all done. This is only possible because of the many that serve and protect us in the US and around the world. For this soldier and 1.1 Million before … sincere gratitude and thanks.