To the Grieving Parents of a Fallen Soldier

wangjiaomei 2013 M07 31

To the Grieving Parents of a Fallen Soldier by Joel Bartolone - Free Articles The great thing about my job as an FA is getting to encounter all aspects of the world society. I get to...

To the Grieving Parents of a Fallen Soldier by Joel Bartolone - Free Articles

The great thing about my job as an FA is getting to encounter all aspects of the world society. I get to witness first-hand the good AND the bad bizzz. It’s always a new experience and often an eye-opening situation. It’s one of the reasons I love my job so much.

Unfortunately, a couple of days ago, I was forced to eye-witness another category. chainsaw. . THE SAD. I was working a leg from ORD to Philly and was in charge of the front cabin. The pax entered the cabin as they usually do and I did my best to greet them with a warm smile and a friendly “hello”. As always, most returned the gesture which always goes a long way towards making my job even better. That all changed mid-way through the boarding process Rubber slipper for men. A couple in their mid-50’s entered the jet. The husband entered first. He was a sad and had an air of aloofness to him (he acknowledged me but it seemed a bit forced and odd). I also noticed he was carrying an 8X10 photo of a young man in a Marine Dress Uniform. He was then followed by his wife. She entered the jet and just kind of looked right through me without saying a word to return my greeting. She also had quite an aura of sadness and intensity about her. My first thought was “did something happen in the terminal that upset her?”

Something was definitely different about this situation. I suddenly went into my own past and recalled that look was not of intensity, but of trauma due to the loss of a loved one mens necklace. Then it dawned upon me that the trauma was caused by the young Marine in the portrait. These people had lost their son who had been struck down in the prime of his life! Moments later, the gate agent confirmed my worst gut feeling about why they were so sad. My heart sank as a war half-way around the world was suddenly staring me in the face (and with the saddest expression I’ve ever witnessed in my life). Let me get one thing straight: I’m NOT writing this article to strike up a debate about the war that claimed the young man (that’s not what this site is about). It’s to express to this couple what I was afraid to say to them on the aircraft.

Growing up in an environment where my great-uncles served honorably in WWII, my uncles served honorably in Vietnam, and family (as well as friends) served honorably in both Gulf Wars; I grew up with a strong admiration for our men and women in uniform. My first instinct was to walk up to them, put my arms around them and thank them for their son’s service and offer them as much comfort as possible. I also wanted to get on the PA and announce to all aboard the AC that we were in the presence of a couple who sacrificed their son so that people on the other side of the world could have a better life. Fortunately (or perhaps Unfortunately), my sense of reason kicked in and I restrained. Remembering the fragile state of the mother, I realized that an inocent and well-intended gesture meant to honor their son could be that last straw that pushed the mom over the edge. I had a sense of frustration I haven’t felt in a long time. I wanted to DO something, but knew that following my heart could produce a result the polar opposite of my intention. I realized that the best way to honor them and their fallen son was to give them their space, privacy and peace-and-quiet. To allow them to quietly fly home and grieve in a manner they saw fit.

Now that I have the safety of time and distance, I want to tell that couple what I couldn’t in that moment. I want to tell them how DEEPLY sorry I am for the un-believable pain they’re forced to endure, and they’re in my thoughts and prayers. I know there’s nothing I can say or do that will ease their pain, but I want them to know that there are millions of Americans who also honor and grieve for the loss of a beautiful human being such as their brave and noble son. I will remember that moment and those parents for the rest of my life and I have said a number of prayers for him already. I encourage everyone reading this article to do the same.

God Bless You, Fallen Soldier and Sleep Warm lionfirepress.

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