Bag Lunches

dilbert

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. ‘I’m glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,’ I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. “Where are you headed?” I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

“Great Lakes Air Base. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Iraq,” he answered.

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard the soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. “No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks. I’ll wait till we get to Chicago.”

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. “Take a lunch to all those soldiers.” She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. “My son was a soldier in Iraq… it’s almost like you are doing it for him.”

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, “Which do you like best – beef or chicken?” “Chicken,” I replied, wondering why she asked.

She turned and went to the front of the plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. “This is your thanks.”

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me.

“I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.” He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, “I want to shake your hand.”

Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand. With a booming voice he said, “I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.” I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed in Chicago, I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. “It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.”

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little.  – Author Unknown

Advertisements
10 comments
  1. Reblogged this on Morning Story and Dilbert and commented:

    Morning Story and Dilbert has been running for two years now. I never thought I could find so stories to share…. There are six hundred plus stories on this site and to the best of my knowledge they are all different….

    This Story “Bag Lunches is the first posted on May 7, 2012…. One person liked it!!!!! 🙂 I hope you enjoy it and if you feel like having another cuppa coffee or tea, click on one of the three links at the bottom of the post, I’m sure you will find another heart worming story, and another, and another, and another….
    Please enjoy the stories and have a Blessed day!! Take Care 🙂 Kenny T

  2. Congratulations Kenny on 2 years of inspirational stories! You make blogsphere brighter! 🙂

  3. You have been a blessing. Keep sharing these amazing and inspiring stories 🙂

  4. Wow! Great story Kenny. This man found out you can never outgive God…and then gave again! Thanks for sharing!

  5. LOVE this heart-warming and inspiring story, urging us to be the hands of Jesus, and give-give-give!

  6. sf said:

    Great story, Kenny! Thanks for starting your blog and sharing all of these encouraging and heartfelt stories! I especially love to read the ones that start with a red “Kleenex Alert!”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: