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2 Bumps

Don't you agree? Something Democrats nd Replublicans can do together. This made me cry.

Military and civilian worlds meet at airport

Service members make their way through the atrium at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.Sara Koniar puts down her lunch, jumps to her feet and joins her hands together in thundering applause as men and women in uniform file past her at the Atlanta airport.

The soldiers and sailors wear game faces that hide anxiety and backpacks that weigh down shoulders. They must be heading back to war, Koniar says.

The Franklin, Wisconsin, resident rarely comes face to face with a soldier. She doesn't have relatives serving. Nor does she live in a military town.

Here, at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Koniar seizes her opportunity to show appreciation.

"They deserve it for everything they are doing," she says.

Koniar is hardly alone in that sentiment, though millions of Americans find themselves detached from the lives of service men and women.

Fewer than 1% of Americans serve in the military today, compared to 4% who served in Vietnam or 12% in World War II.

Despite the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, most Americans are not likely to know the agony of separation or the uncertainty of the battlefield, the disconnect so severe that it prompted Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to recently say: "Someday, the American people may no longer know us."

But the airport is different, and it has become a forum of sorts for Americans to interact with the military.

Thousands of Americans remain deployed overseas and when they return home for leave, they come through two airports: Everyone going west of the Mississippi flies to Dallas and those with homes east of the river travel through Atlanta.

Over the years, an airport etiquette has emerged that says: You may not like the war, but do like the warrior.

Take Bobby Segal of Concord, New Hampshire. He, like Koniar, rarely meets soldiers in his hometown. But on this spring day, when the sun is bursting through the Atlanta airport atrium, Segal pauses as he walks by two soldiers seated at a counter of the Atlanta Bread Company.

"Thank you for your service," he says, heading to the security line. It's the very least he can do.

Sgt. First Class Chad Walker nods. It's great to get a pat on the shoulder, he says.

Next to him, Spc. Crystal Sims is still savoring a breakfast of biscuits, gravy and bacon from Paschal's southern food. When she got out her wallet to pay, the man behind the register told her to put it away. A security guard at the airport had already taken care of it.

Only 21 and on her first deployment to Afghanistan, Sims felt special.

Answer Question
 
emilysmom1966

Asked by emilysmom1966 at 7:27 AM on Apr. 10, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 18 (6,228 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • Seems more like a human nature thing, than a political one. Not sure why you feel showing respect to our military personnel is exclusively a Democrat or Republican thing?!

    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:19 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • Seems more like a human nature thing, than a political one. Not sure why you feel showing respect to our military personnel is exclusively a Democrat or Republican thing?! Come on, I just wanted to put something positive.


    With all the obvious tension going with democrats and republican, I wanted to point out something we can all agree on- our troops. Did you really have to take it there? I can't understand why people always take something positive and make it controversial. GEEZE!!!!

    emilysmom1966

    Comment by emilysmom1966 (original poster) at 8:57 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • ......................My husband has been welcomed into several airports. He appreciates it but also finds it awkward! I think its nice that people do this for the troops though!
    ArmyWifeAshlie

    Answer by ArmyWifeAshlie at 9:15 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • With all the obvious tension going with democrats and republican, I wanted to point out something we can all agree on- our troops. Did you really have to take it there? I can't understand why people always take something positive and make it controversial. GEEZE!!!!

    ***
    Sorry, but I don't feel the tension between the political parties. I just feel nothing but contempt for progressive Democrats, and those who subscribe to their agenda. I merely shake my head in disgust, which has absolutely no bearing on how I treat those in uniform for keeping me and my family safe from enemies foreign and domestic. Those service men and women chose to defend our country regardless of who the president is/was!
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 9:19 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • LoriKeet -Well even though you feel like that, (and I am sorry that you do) I would be right there greeting your family members in uniforms. I hope you would do the same for mine , even though they believe what I believe.

    emilysmom1966

    Comment by emilysmom1966 (original poster) at 9:44 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • LoriKeet -Well even though you feel like that, (and I am sorry that you do) I would be right there greeting your family members in uniforms. I hope you would do the same for mine , even though they believe what I believe.

    ***
    Of course I would salute the person in uniform!! Believe it or not, I don't make it a habit of asking someone what their political ideology is before I talk to them! LOL However, it doesn't take long for one's core beliefs to shine through.

    Oh, and I do not have any family members who are active military, nor do I fly, so I won't be traveling through Atlanta or Dallas en route somewhere anytime soon. :o)
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 10:13 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • it doesn't take long for one's core beliefs to shine through



    My cousin is in this picture. Does it shine through?

    emilysmom1966

    Comment by emilysmom1966 (original poster) at 10:21 AM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • When I have flown lately, the Flight Attendants tell us when there is a Serviceman or woman on board heading for Afghanistan,Iraq, etc. and we all applaud them. It brings tears to my eyes every time. WHen they are at the Gate waiting for their flight, people go to them and wish them well and thank them. I think that is pretty much the usual thing at Airports and it is heart warming,to say the least.
    minnesotanice

    Answer by minnesotanice at 12:20 PM on Apr. 10, 2011


  • My cousin is in this picture. Does it shine through?

    ***
    Taking your HYPOTHETICAL post personally, is where your attitude kills a thread. I can't tell by a picture what a person's core beliefs are, but in spending a few minutes TALKING to them, I am pretty confident I could figure them out--especially if they are of the liberal/progressive kind!!!
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 1:15 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

  • my husband gets embaressed when he is wearing his uniform and we go to the store. For some reason he doesnt like to be called out. The last time we went to the movies and he was in uniform a lady gave him her candy and he tried to tell her no but she insisted. I for letting the men and women know they are doing a good job. But dont understand my husbands embaressment
    ahuey1372

    Answer by ahuey1372 at 1:53 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

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