Sack Lunches 午餐袋
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. ‘Petawawa.
We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Afghanistan.’
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 the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time..
As I reached for my wallet, I overheard 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 base ‘ 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 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.’
我一回到座位，就看到機長沿著走道走過來，邊走邊看著座位號碼，我希望他不是要找我，可是我注意到他只看這我這邊的 座位號碼。當他走到我這排時停了下來，微笑著伸出他的手來說：「 我想和你握手。」
Quickly unfastening my seatbelt 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 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.
十個青年人帶著全機旅客的愛與尊敬離開了飛機。當我輕快地走向我的車的時候，我默默地為他們能平安地回來禱告。 這些士兵把他們的所有都獻給了國家， 而我能給他們的卻是幾份餐而已。
It seemed so little…
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’
That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.’
May God give you the strength and courage to pass this along to everyone on your email buddy list….
I JUST DID.