Vets Flying Home From Afghanistan Get First Class Treatment Thanks To Passenger Volunteers

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A group of 13 U.S. Marines on the last leg of their long flight home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan got an unexpected and impromptu tip of the hat Monday from fellow citizens.

American Airlines – which routinely makes unused first class seats available to coach-flying service members – offered up six first class spaces on the final leg of the group’s Chicago-to-San Diego flight back to California. A great gesture, but it still left seven of the soldiers sitting back in coach.

So seven total strangers sitting in paid first class seats all voluntarily swapped places with them – all so the marines could spend a few final hours together before going their separate ways when their flight landed in San Diego.

“It was incredibly touching,” Capt. Pravin Rajan said. “Afghanistan is a very complex and ambiguous war … and a difficult thing to keep track of so it is amazing when we are 10 years [into] a war and there is still that kind of community; that level of support, the level of willingness to go out of one’s way.”

The trip from Chicago to California marked the last leg of a five-day stint of flights to get the soldiers back home.

Not earth-shattering news, but a nice example of how true kindness or love of country is best expressed not when it’s legislated – but when it comes from the hearts of real people.

Personal Liberty

Personal Liberty News Desk

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  • Alan

    Every one of those who offered-up their seats deserves a letter of commendation for having done so. It does my heart good to find such examples of kindness in a largely self-serving environment. God bless you all.

    • ongelofelijk

      I second your statement Alan and firmly believe that many good and true citizens would have done no different in such a situation. Keep in mind that a few detestable loud mouths are always successful in spoiling the beans for others. God Bless America and thank you all men and women in uniform for your services.

      • Alan

        You are absolutely right my friend! So often it is the actions of but a few who damage the image of the majority. I refuse to give up on the notion that proper attitudes regarding dealing with our fellow men and women are dead. There are plenty of us who still care about doing the right thing. May God bless you all.

  • Vis Fac

    I only got spat on when I returned to the states! Better times for our vets today and that’s a good thing!

    To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

    You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

    Libertas inaestimabilis res est
    Semper-Fi

    • Alan

      I recall the plight of the servicemen who received undo scorn upon returning home from that war. An older brother of mine, one of your fellow Marine brethren, received the same sort of atrocious treatment once arriving back in the States. Bless you for your service Force Recon.
      Semper-Fi

      • Vis Fac

        Thank You.

        When I finally retired have long supported our veterans through their various projects Veterans Homes Hospitals and other supporting groups such as the Wounded Warriors Project. Since I am able I do more than the average person but any support id welcome even if it to voulenteer as a driver or an escort at the VA hospital. You might be surprised about what and how much you can learn from these heroes.

        To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the wolf, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.

        You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

        Libertas inaestimabilis res est
        Semper-Fi

  • Motov

    I think that was a wonderful gesture. There is still hope.