I love to fly. Getting onto an airplane means that adventures are ahead. Whether those adventures are in new places, familiar places, with family or alone, if I must fly to get there, I am already enjoying myself. This adventure was with family in that Kate was traveling with me and we were going to see Mom. Now I am flying home and my husband and three of my children await my return.
The flight from San Antonio to Chicago was relatively comfortable, there being enough room on the plane that not every seat was filled- I had two seats all to myself and didn't need to disturb anyone when I had to make those trips to the lavatory. Starbucks coffee was one of the beverage selections, and I was a happy camper, (Fred's Folgers coffee leaves me wishing I had chosen against a morning java). At the gate waiting to board my flight I stopped to shake the hand of a young soldier with the 101st and thank him for his service, as my own son is now in Kuwait. Three rows ahead of me there was a Mom travelling with her three young children, the oldest maybe 5 years old. I overheard her telling another passenger that her husband is serving in the Military. Her youngest had a difficult time getting to sleep- yelling a bit as he worked his way down- but who am I to get picky over that? I've travelled with small children myself. He was soon asleep and his sisters by turns sang "Shine, Jesus, shine…" and squealed with delight as the plane banked in a sharp turn to line up for landing.
The weather was clear and lovely as we approached Chicago and once we began our descent I enjoyed the view. I suppose Chicago is considered the upper Midwest, and the landscape was beautiful. Like a quilt with blocks of varying shades of green and brown, stitched together with clear, bold seams of roads, the farmland soon gave way to Suburbia with the blocks becoming studded with neighborhoods of homes, the streets ending many times in neat little cul-de-sacs. From the air it all looked so clean, peaceful, and orderly. At ground level I am sure that is not the case.
As we taxied to the gate and were given the all-clear to unlatch our seatbelts, everyone stood to begin the process of gathering luggage from overhead bins and go on with our lives. The pilot, however, interrupted us with a request from the airport authority to re-take our seats. Puzzled, we sat. Then the announcement that "Chicago O'Hare International Airport and the FBI are proud to welcome Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Patrick Brady, Mr. Brady, please stand and be recognized." As this hero, seated quietly in the middle of the aircraft, rose to his feet, the applause began, and continued as he left the plane first, turning to wave in appreciation. What a moment!
By my count, there were several heroes on board today. A gentleman who has proudly served his country and has been awarded the Medal of Honor; a young man who is serving his country in uncertain times; and the wife of a soldier, serving at home by raising her three precious children while her husband fights for us overseas.
God bless them, each and every one.