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God bless this airline captian

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1 God bless this airline captian on Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:50 am




How sad it is that we don’t all give our troops and
their families this kind of respect.


He writes: My lead flight attendant
came to me and said, "We have an H.R. on this flight."
stands for human remains.) "Are they military?"
I asked.
"Yes", she said.
"Is there an
escort?" I asked.
"Yes, I already assigned him a seat".
"Would you
please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early," I
A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight
deck. He was the image of
the perfectly dressed
soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his

The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk
about them as if they are still alive and still with us.
"My soldier is
on his way back to Virginia." he said.

He proceeded to answer my
questions, but offered no other words.
I asked him if
there was anything I could do for him and he said no.

I told him that he had the toughest job in
the military and that I appreciated the work that

he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The
first officer and I got up out of our seats

to shake his hand. He left the flight deck
to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and
performed an uneventful departure.

About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from
the lead flight attendant in the cabin.

"I just found out the family of
the soldier we are carrying, is on board", she said.

She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother,
wife and 2-year old daughter
were escorting their son, husband, and
father home. The family was upset because they

were unable to see the container that the soldier was
in before we left. We were on our way

to a major hub at which the family was going to wait
four hours for the connecting
flight home to Virginia

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant
that knowing his son was below him
in the cargo
compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him
and the family to bear.

He had asked the flight attendant if there
was anything that could be done to allow them to see him

upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by
the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken

off the airplane... I could hear the
desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me

there was anything I could do.. "I'm on it",
I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs
in the form of e-mail like messages.
I decided
to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a
secondary radio.

There is a radio operator in the operations control
center who connects you to the telephone

of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the
dispatcher.. I explained the situation I had on board

with the family and what it was the family wanted. He
said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went
by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to
get busy soon
and I needed to know what to tell the
family. I sent a text message asking for an

I saved the return message from
the dispatcher and the following is the text:

"Captain, sorry it
has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this
now and
I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a
dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.

The team will escort the family to the ramp
and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains

with a secondary van for the family. The
family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into

the terminal where the remains can be seen on the
ramp. It is a private area for the family only.

When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will
be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the
remains being
loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control
are veterans.

Please pass our condolences on to the
family. Thanks."

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks
for a good job. I printed out the message
and gave it to the lead
flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead
flight attendant was

very thankful and told me, "You have no idea how much
this will mean to them."

Things started getting busy for the
descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared
runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge
with 15 gates on either side of the

alleyway. It is always a busy
area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit.

When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp
controller, we were told that all traffic

was being held for us.

"There is a team in place
to meet the aircraft", we were told. It looked like
it was all
coming together, then I realized that
once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone

would stand up at once and delay the family
from getting off the airplane.

As we approached our gate, I asked
the copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going
stop short of the gate to make an announcement to
the passengers.

He did that and the ramp controller said, "Take your

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking
brake. I pushed the public address button
said, "Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain
speaking, I have stopped short of our gate

to make a special
announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our
honor and respect.

His Name is Private XXXXXX, a
soldier who recently lost his life.

Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo

Escorting him today is Army
Sergeant XXXXXXX.

Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and
daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all

passengers to remain in their seats to allow
the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you."

continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our
shutdown procedures.

A couple of minutes later I opened
the cockpit door. I found the two forward
flight attendants crying,

something you just do not see. I was
told that after we came to a stop, every passenger
on the aircraft

stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to
exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered
their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands.

Moments later more passengers joined in and
soon the entire aircraft was clapping.

Words of 'God Bless You', I'm sorry,
thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered

to the family as they made their way down
the aisle and out of the airplane.

They were escorted down to the ramp to
finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers
disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had

They were just words, I told
them, I could say them over and over

but nothing I say will bring back that brave

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on
this event and the sacrifices that millions
of our men and
women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in
United States of AMERICA .

note: As a Viet Nam Veteran I can only think of all the
veterans including the ones

that rode below the deck on their way home and how they
were treated. When I read things

like this I am proud that our country has
not turned their backs on our current soldiers returning from

the various war zones today and give them the respect
they so deserve.

I know every one who has served their country who
reads this will have tears in their
including me.

Prayer chain for our
Military... lease don't break it!

Please send this on after a
short prayer...

Pray for our soldiers, don't break

"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us. Bless them
and their families for the
selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need... Amen."

Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for
a moment and say a prayer for our
troops around the world.

is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not
let it
stop with you. Of all the gifts you could give a Marine,
Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others

deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best


2 Re: God bless this airline captian on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:30 am

67 Warrior

67 Warrior
Thank you 34 for a reminder of the huge price paid for our Liberty. I remember seeing so many flag draped coffins being loaded at Tan Sa Nhut as we arrived to take our place in battle. Very sobering .. God Bless all that gave all for us. 67

3 Re: God bless this airline captian on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:01 am


yes 34 thank you for taking the time to post that. I am a 8 yr non war vet and yes it did bring a tear a thankfullnes for our soldiers. God bless them all

4 Re: God bless this airline captian on Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:21 pm


Kudo's to the Captain and flight crew.....SemperFI

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