Warm Welcome For Some of Our Troops!

I often travel for PhotoLynx for trade shows or to visit with clients.  If I had to estimate, I would say 25% of my year is spent on the road.  I know that this isn’t that much travel as compared to some occupations, but for me it’s just about perfect.

Because I do travel so frequently, often times it becomes routine.  I have the same suitcase with the same always stocked travel bags.  I can leave a hotel room or rental car without the fear of leaving anything behind because I have it down to such a routine.  We always almost always fly SouthWest Airlines, so I know how to be sure to be amongst one of the first to get on the plane for my seat selection.

This week I was out visiting one of our customers in Jacksonville Florida.  Everything was very routine up to my last morning coming home.  I woke up before my wake up call, so I jumped in the shower and just got ready to catch my plane.  While in the shower, my wake up call rang, but I didn’t hear it until I was almost out.  I couldn’t make it in time to answer the phone.  A few minutes later, I have a knocking at my door.  It was security making sure I was alright because I didn’t answer my wake up call. I actually thought that was a great courtesy of the hotel to follow up on a missed wake up call like that.

I flew the short distance from Jacksonville to Tampa, where I had an almost 3 hour layover.  I got comfortable it a Chili’s Too and broke out my laptop to prepare for tonight’s user group meeting as I had a long wait before my flight.

An announce came over the P.A. that a plane of troops coming home from Iraq was going to arrive at a gate nearby where I was eating.  They encouraged everyone to gather at the gate to welcome the troops home.  I wish I had my camera, but there was well over 100 people from the terminal gathered around the gate waiting for the plane to arrive.  When the troops came walking into the terminal everyone started clapping and whistling welcoming the troops home.  The roar of claps didn’t stop until the very last person was well past the gate.  It was nothing like I’ve seen before.

President Obama was just sworn in yesterday.  I used to pay close attention to politics, but I have been avoiding the news over the last few years because it was always so depressing.  It’s a refreshing change to see everyone so optimistic.  I can feel it all around that nearly everyone is anxious to see what difference a new president can bring.  This welcoming home of the troops is hopefully a sign of whats to come.


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