Kindness to Our Soldiers and Veterans

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A short time ago, I was excited to find myself upgraded on a flight home from what were some very long and exhausting days of travel. I settled into my seat, put some music on my headphones and prepared to kick back with my book. As passengers filed by, I noticed a tall gentleman in his BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform) walking down the aisle and to a seat further back in the plane. As the passengers completed boarding, there were still a couple of empty seats in first class, so my hope was that the flight attendant would offer him to come up, but time kept passing and it was becoming evident that this wasn’t going to be the case. Just before shutting the door, she walked once more down the aisle asking each of the first class passengers if we would like anything to drink after take off. When she approached me, I told her that instead, I would like to offer up my seat to the uniformed gentleman in the back. She hesitated for a moment, not because I don’t think she wanted to act on it, but she seemed more surprised by my request. Before she could respond, the man across the aisle from me overheard and said “Better yet, why not just give him one of the empty seats up here and let her stay where she is?” I would have gladly given up my little bit of comfort for the soldier, but the flight attendants quickly moved him up to one of the empty seats in first class – and he was humble, but grateful.

On this Pay it Forward Friday, I implore you to take a moment to pay some act of kindness to those in the military, both currently or veterans. This one hits a little close to home because my step brother was a veteran who served multiple tours in the middle east and sadly, he took his own life just over a year ago after returning in great despair. So many of our soldiers are in difficult situations, so if there is any way that you can make it a little better for just one of them, even for a moment, please do so.

There are a number of fantastic organizations out there, and one of those is Soldier’s Angels. They offer a myriad of ways to help, you can write letters to a soldier, donate a laptop, or even just shop on Amazon using this link so that a portion of the proceeds help the organization. The list goes on and on for ways that you can help, but above all else, please always remember if you see a soldier or a veteran, thank them for their service.

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