The Sack Lunches

Just received this in my email box. Regardless of whether it is fiction or fact, it is touching and a super reminder that when we create good moments by simple actions, the warmth of healing, upbeat emotion comes as a natural effect. THAT is factual, even if I don’t know the veracity of this story. May we all seek to create a more positive, kind world!

~~~~
The Sack Lunches

    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 a 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.’

    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.

    It seemed so little…

~Author unknown

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