Here is a very inspirational *true* story, verified by www.snopes.com (They talked to the original source of the story, Will Ross. See For yourself at: http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/onleave.asp). I thought this might brighten up your day <grin>.

--
Steven Montgomery

A Day at Baltimore Airport (The writer and his wife live in LA and both
work for Uncle Sam.)

Dear Friends and Family,
I hope that you will spare me a few minutes of your time to tell you
about something that I saw on Monday, October 27. I had been attending a
conference in Annapolis and was coming home on Sunday. As you may recall,
Los Angeles International Airport was closed on Sunday, October 26, because
of the fires that affected air traffic control. Accordingly, my flight, and
many others, were canceled and I wound up spending a night in Baltimore.
My story begins the next day. When I went to check in at the United
counter Monday morning I saw a lot of soldiers home from Iraq. Most were
very young and all had on their desert camouflage uniforms. This was as
change from earlier, when they had to buy civilian clothes in Kuwait to fly
home. It was a visible reminder that we are in a war. It probably was
pretty close to what train terminals were like in World War II.
Many people were stopping the troops to talk to them, asking them
questions in the Starbucks line or just saying "Welcome Home." In addition
to all the flights that had been canceled on Sunday, the weather was
terrible in Baltimore and the flights were backed up. So, there were a lot
of unhappy people in the terminal trying to get home, but nobody that I saw
gave the soldiers a bad time.

By the afternoon, one plane to Denver had been delayed several hours.
United personnel kept asking for volunteers to give up their seats and take
another flight. They weren't getting many takers. Finally, a United
spokeswoman got on the PA and said this, "Folks. As you can see, there are
a lot of soldiers in the waiting area. They only have 14 days of leave and
we're trying to get them where they need to go without spending any more
time in an airport then they have to. We sold them all tickets, knowing we
would oversell the flight. If we can, we want to get them all on this
flight. We want all the soldiers to know that we respect what you're doing,
we are here for you and we love you."

At that, the entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people, a
cross-section of America, broke into sustained and heartfelt applause. The
soldiers looked surprised and very modest. Most of them just looked at
their boots. Many of us were wiping away tears.

And, yes, people lined up to take the later flight and all the
soldiers went to Denver on that flight. That little moment made me proud to
be an American, and also told me why we will win this war.
If you want to send my little story on to your friends and family,
feel free. This is not some urban legend. I was there, I was part of it, I
saw it happen.

Will Ross
Administrative Judge
United States Department of Defense
Bonnie Rathke
Regional Purchaser, DHS Region 7, mailcode 016-1
Phone 512/832-7672, Fax 512/834-4797
Digital pager 800/527-2431 pin 5101

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