Friday, March 18, 2011

Airport Encounter

Last Friday, I was waiting in terminal three's baggage claim at O'Hare airport. While scrolling through emails on my Blackberry, I overheard a man asking if he could borrow a baggage cart from American Airlines. The man said he was helping a group of wounded warriors that we just coming back home from overseas.

My heart stopped. I looked up to see a group of young men. Some had Army gear. All were on crutches, in a wheelchair, or had an arm in a sling.

The man who asked for the cart said hello and we began talking.

Soon thereafter, I was talking to a group of young men.

They were returning home. Some of them still had a bus ride head of them from the airport.

I never mentioned my brother being in the Army. I was too busy wondering how the group in front of me could be so upbeat. They were a true inspiration.

Their closing remarks to me were 'thank you,' essentially, just for taking a few minutes to b.s. with them.

I managed only to say 'No, thank you' before I felt tears coming on.

They smiled.

I smiled.

And we went our separate ways.

I'm taking this encounter as a sign that I should run raise money for Team Salute again this year while I train for the Marathon.

Salute is an Illinois-based charity that supports active military members, veterans, and their families.

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