GI Joe and Jane are lucky if the big troop transport plane has a Maine airport on its flight manifest to touch down at.
Maine, if there was a world olympics for troop transport airport diehard greeters, then Vacationland would get the gold. But the organized tight group does not do what they do for personal attention. No matter what time of day or night greeters set their alarm clocks, shower, run a comb through their hair and hurry, scurry to the Maine airport. Not to get on a flight, but to catch one coming in. The greeters are there to make sure the soldiers feel appreciated, respected. Bangor Maine’s BIA Airport especially organized by caring individuals that say it gives their lives purpose. That this is something they need to do, must do and that it becomes addictive.
If you were hunkered down overseas, in a desolate place that does not even remotely resemble your real home, the shaking hands, being met at the Maine airport in the middle of the night would be a very big deal.
Hitting you in your gut. Inner personal places that don’t get many visitors.
Your have feelings of being overwhelmed, blown away from the unexpected. Raw emotions brought out, exposed to air and light.
Making your service time as a card carrying Veteran so worthwhile and your efforts recognized publicly. Not just taking the sacrifice for granted. Given good home made food, handed a fully charge free cell phone to connect with your real family after being in the winged silver bird, tin can through several time zones. Not knowing or really caring what day it is and hungry, anxious to get to your local zip code. The one where family is there to help you with items on the luggage terminal merry go round.
I am glad I live in Maine, with people like the airport greeters who have their own life struggles. But forget them, replace their personal time making others happier in a very touching way. There is so much being done by the hard working Maine community unsung heroes that need to be recognized. That’s not why they do it and would argue it is no big deal. But it is. Maine, get here quick as you can and meet some of the people.
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