Monday, February 21, 2011

Are you patriotic? Here's how you can show it.

Did you know that every day, more than 100 soldiers pass through DFW Airport on their way home for two weeks of well-deserved rest and recuperation (R&R).  The R&R Program was created to meet and greet the troops returning home from battle and to encourage and support our deployed military.

One flight of returning soldiers lands at DFW every day and the warm welcome provided by volunteer greeters begins the troops’ visit on a high note. A small portion meets their families here but the majority will catch connecting flights home.

Since November of 2004, volunteers gather each day to welcome these troops off their flight, thanking and encouraging them for their service to our great nation.

On Saturday, members of the McCulloch Intermediate School's 5th grade Student Leadership Group gathered at Terminal D, Gate 22 to do our part of for our returning heroes.  The students enthusiastically shook hands, waved flags and held up handmade signs to welcome our returning soldiers.

The kids thought it was a fun experience.  I was a teary mess when it was over.  To hear all those people cheering and clapping just gives you the chills. The first time I shook a soldiers hand, made eye contact and said, "Welcome home, soldier." I just teared up. And I keep tearing up every time I did it.  You could see it in the tired smiles of the soldiers that they were so grateful someone cared enough just to say "thank you".

It was a very emotional experience that left me feeling patriotic and proud. I highly recommend that you participate in the R&R Program.  All you do is show up, clap and smile! You've never had to do so little to feel so good!