As the final passengers came on board, stored their baggage overhead
and took the last seats, the Pilot escorted a couple on board. The Pilot
asked for our attention over the microphone and told us he had two
people that he wanted us to meet.
"Passengers," he said "meet Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn. They are the
parents of Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn, one of the 30 American troops shot
down in Afghanistan on Saturday. They have been in Annapolis
identifying and claiming Aaron's body, and they need to get home. Is
there another couple on this plane sitting together who will give up
their seats on this flight so the Vaughns can fly home tonight?"
Immediately, several couples stood up, and the couple closest to me
gathered their carry-on luggage and left the plane, but not before
hugging the Vaughns and thanking them for their son's service to our
country. For a split second the full plane fell respectfully silent;
however, within the next second we all rose to our feet and applauded
the Vaughns for what seemed like 5 minutes. With tears streaming down
my face, I turned to view the entire plane of passengers and discovered
that there was not a dry eye on the plane, including the Vaughns. We
were not Republicans or Democrats on that plane. We were Americans
grieving the loss of our fallen soldier.
I am so thankful to all that fight for my freedom and for our wonderful
country. God Bless The USA!