A nice thing I saw today (applause at airport for military)

The title says it all. Of course, you may have a different opinion, but I liked it.

We were flying into Atlanta from Rio, and as we were getting in line for Immigration with a few hundred other fellow passengers, I watched as an endless line of young men and women in uniform, those funky pixellated camos, filed past to some special military bypass of the Immigration area.

Moments after they appeared, applause began. And continued.
There were a couple hundred of them, and the applause didn’t cease until they had all passed by.

I searched and found that this has been discussed before, but just wanted to share this today.

A far cry from 35 years ago. A welcome change in attutude by the American population.

I flew in for R&R leave in July 2005 and was treated to kind words of support for what we were doing. All airline personnel that I saw as I was working my way through the Atlanta airports would smile and say, “thank you” to me. I felt really good.

Thank-you to all who support the troops.

SSG Schwartz

The applause isn’t uncommon these days, though at ATL it takes something like the long line of camo-clad folks you mention to draw it – groups of up to 10 or more are pretty much the norm, not to mention huge knots of t-shirt-and-jeans-clad recruits on their way to basic, and not something that would ordinarily draw much notice.

I’ve also been on several flights from ATL into other airports where there were more than a few military personnel on board, obviously headed home on leave, when the flight crew has asked the civilian passengers to allow them to deplane first. Haven’t really seen any resistance to it, or even any grumbling. It’s a small thing, but hopefully it conveys the idea that we’re all grateful for what they’re doing, even if we don’t all agree that they should have been asked to in the first place.

Reading this made my morning. It’s wonderful to see that people appreciate our servicemen and women. Thanks for sharing!

It just goes to show that we can appreciate our people in the armed forces WITHOUT necessarily supporting those in government who put them there in the first place.

I always wondered - and this seems like a good place to ask - if the servicemen really do like it. Not too long ago we were at our WalkAmerica. It was 7 AM and a bunch of servicemen jogged by, with a loud-voiced sergeant. It was just me and my boss at that hour, but we waved and said “Thanks for everything you do!” and smiled at them. I hope they liked it - the sergeant gruffly said thanks but I think he was pleased.

There was a fairly heartwarming story out of DFW recently. A columnist for the Dallas Morning News, Steve Blow, wrote that the USO chapter running the welcome wagon for soldiers returning from Iraq was so low on cash that they couldn’t provide the more expensive ice cream snacks that the soldiers liked. He made an appeal for donations.

Two weeks later, he came back and said that so much money had been sent into the USO chapter, that they were fully funded for the rest of the year and were able to send the surplus to chapters in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I know that I get a little choked up when someone sincerely says “Thank you” when I am in uniform.

I used to get a little embarrassed - as a Canadian reservist our overseas service is still voluntary and I haven’t volunteered, then I realized they are thanking the uniform, not just me.

I started with a smile back and a heartfelt “You’re welcome.”

Don’t know that I’d be moved to applause, tho I might wish to apologize to them for having such a fucked up government that cares so little for servicemen as to waste their lives and limbs on such an unnecessary frolic.

Of course, they joined of their free will …

Yep, I like making fairly rude political statements to random strangers too. :rolleyes:

I actually saw this happen last year in the Dallas airport; a soldier was returning home and it was announced over the local intercom, and much applause ensued. I saw him again at the baggage claim at Colorado Springs, reunited with his family. It was nice.

And I’m sure many felt the same. Not everyone was applauding, but at least they weren’t booing, and that’s a far cry from the Vietnam-era treatment that A.R. Cane alluded to.

Me alone-I’d rather not be noticed. But if I’m in a large group, then yeah, I’d really appreciate the applause–not really for me, but for all the other guys that patrol and go outside the wire (I’ve been in theater, but have never been outside, except on aircraft). Especially in this conflict, which is so divisive. Nice to know that most folks still respect our contribution and don’t hold the war against us. And while I can’t speak for everyone in uniform, I have a hard time imagining any of my friends and colleagues saying that they really wouldn’t want it.

I like hearing these kinds of stories, and I worry that sooner or later, they’ll stop altogether.

I don’t think I would say anything if you were alone. Actually, I know I wouldn’t. I would think that would come off too much like hitting on him, and given my predilection for a uniform, that might not be entirely untrue. :wink:

One of the tellers at our bank has a picture of himself in uniform. I have often wanted to say something but I see him week after week and it just seems odd to suddenly say - THANKS! out of the blue.

A very good friend of mine is a captain in the 82nd Airborne. Back in 2000, he was stationed in Germany and on the anniversary of D-Day, he and his wife went and followed the trail from Normandy to Paris, stopping at historical markers. He did this in uniform. He told me how old French men and women would hurry out of their houses to thank him, hug him, offer them hospitality. Like he personally liberated France. He and his wife were very moved of course and they both resented the French bashing that came later.

When you put on a uniform you put on history. That’s why you have to earn the right to wear the uniform.

I wonder how many vets are in those groups of people applauding, and how they feel about it. Does it bring back memories for them? Are they clapping for themselves when they were the ones in uniform?

It used to make me smile and applaud along with the other civilians.
Now that my SO is an active duty servicemember and I know there’s a likelihood someone’s not coming home with their squad who should have, and their family’s at home grieving instead of at the airport to greet them - now I get choked up and have to duck in the ladies room at ATL.
And it happens EVERY time I’m at ATL, which is ‘our’ airport. Freakin’ Bragg.

Ya’ll know our Doper Bear Nenno will be going through ATL one day this month to go overseas, right? Think of him when you applaud next time.

For those of you who have not served in the military, or who choose to place blame on those who do, you need to understand that those who do serve are committed to their country and that countries constitution. Civilian leadership is chosen by the general population, not by the military. You do not want a military that questions their elected civilian leadership. If there’s fault to be placed, it’s w/ the populace that controls who they choose to lead them.
I have not had the opportunity to applaud military members in public, but I absolutely will do so if the opportunity presents itself, partly because I know what it feels like to not be appreciated because of public misunderstanding, but mostly because I have an understanding of the sacrifices of military service, especially in time of war. That also includes the wives and loved ones of the military member.

Times sure change. When I was in, and you were naughty, they had a middle-level punishment for guys who hadn’t misbehaved enough to be put on restriction (meaning not allowed to leave the ship for twenty days): “uniform liberty,” where they reverted back to the era before Admiral Zumwalt let guys go out into town in civillian clothes.

But everyone I knew who were given uniform liberty stayed on the ship anyway, because they knew they’d effectively been sentenced to be beaten up by San Diego punks or Marines. And strolling down Plaza de la Revolucion in Tijuanna wearing a United States Navy uniform? That would have been “sucide by Federale.”

Conceivably sailors on uniform liberty could hang with a bunch of buddies for protection, but why would you ask someone to stand next to a lighting rod?

We were seen by the general public as losers who couldn’t get real jobs and who just wanted to get drunk and fuck their wives, daughters or dogs. We got used to it as we went through our daily lives pissed-off at the Navy and the civillians and life in general. I can’t entierly wrap my head around the possibility that today’s sevicemen aren’t every bit as pissed-off if not more so.

And I can’t help but wonder if they see our applause as something we do to make ourselves feel good as much as, if not more than, to make them feel good.

I fly frequently for business and I’ve yet to see any terminal applause or even a noticeable contigent of military passing through, but I often see individuals in uniform travelling. I’ve noticed gate agents for Southwest will often let them ahead of the cattle call boarding line-up (I’m ok with this). Whenever I notice them on my flight, I’ve tried several times to buy them a drink, only to be told by the flight attendant that they’ve already comped his drink or that I’m the 5th to 8th person to make the offer.