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Thread: Fallen Hero

  1. #1
    Taledrger's Avatar
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    Fallen Hero

    Got this from the Husky site. Thought some of you might be interested..

    FLIGHT DEPARTMENT HOTLINE December 18, 2006
    >>
    >>This is Captain Bob Johnson with the Flight Department Hotline for
    >>Monday, December 18.(AMERICAN AIRLINES)
    >>
    >>In lieu of our normal weekly recap, I want to share with you a letter
    >>we received from FO Gary Blied, written after completing his duties on

    >>American Airlines flight #1904, ORD to MIA, on December 3. This is
    >>Gary's letter
    >>
    >>"We were informed at the gate that the remains of MSgt Shawn
    >>Richardson would shortly be loaded on our flight for the trip to
    >>Miami. He was a 17 year veteran of the United States Air Force and had

    >>been killed in the service of our country. I went down onto the ramp
    >>and found the long box appropriately stationed off to the side in a
    >>luggage cart. The curtains on the cart were pulled. I spent a few
    moments in prayer with him.
    >>
    >>"The Captain and I finished our preflight duties and then went down
    >>onto the ramp, checked in with the crew chiefs to observe the loading
    of MSgt.
    >>Richardson. We departed almost an hour late due to our late arrival
    >>into Chicago.
    >>
    >>"We called for push and it was immediately granted. Normally, there's
    >>a wait. We called ground for taxi and again -- immediately granted.
    >>Normally, there's a wait. We were cleared onto the runway and for an
    >>immediate take off. Passing through about twenty five thousand feet,
    >>we were further cleared direct OMN (Ormand Beach) which is the first
    >>fix on the arrival into Miami. That's basically a thousand mile
    >>straight line and the most direct clearance I've ever received to
    >>Miami. Not a word was ever said -- but people were watching out for
    us.
    >>
    >>"The flight to and landing in Miami were uneventful, until we went to
    >>turn off the runway. The tower asked us to proceed a little further
    >>down where an escort was waiting for us. We did as instructed and a
    >>Miami Dade Police cruiser met us on the taxiway. He escorted our
    >>American Airlines Boeing 757 to the D terminal. The entire north ramp
    had been cleared of all aircraft.
    >>
    >>"As we approached the ramp we noticed the lights. There were at least
    >>a half dozen fire trucks, no less than 15 police cars and countless
    other vehicles.
    >>They were all parked in rows with their lights flashing. As we taxied
    >>our aircraft to the gate, the fire trucks saluted our arrival with
    >>crossed streams of water shooting over the aircraft.
    >>
    >>"We parked the aircraft and shut down. After our checklists, Captain
    >>Jeff Wallace and I went down to the ramp level and observed the
    >>unpacking of the casket, then the dressing with a flag. It was
    >>accepted by the honor guard, which was comprised of members of the
    >>Miami Dade Police Department, and Air Force Honor Guard.
    >>
    >>"After the "present arms" order (when all military and former military

    >>render salutes and civilians put their hands over their hearts) and
    >>the "order arms" order, when the salutes were finished, I noticed our
    >>jet. As I looked up from the ramp level, I saw a face in every window.

    >>Not one of our passengers had moved until our fallen solider had
    departed the aircraft.
    >>
    >>"When the procession left the airport, there were two cruisers in
    >>front of the hearse and I have no idea how many behind. It was worthy
    >>of a presidential motorcade and a fitting and probably all too
    >>uncommon show of love and respect for one of our fallen.
    >>
    >>"And in case I haven't mentioned this previously -- it was 1:30 a.m.
    >>on a Saturday morning and I would bet that most of the people on our
    >>ramp were not on the clock.
    >>
    >>"Every now and then you see it: the silent majority that makes this
    >>country the best in the world. I was so proud that night. Proud that
    >>my fellow citizens on every level worked to get MSgt. Richardson to
    his final repose.
    >>Proud of all the people who showed up on the ramp early that Saturday
    >>morning to show their respect. Proud of our passengers that they
    >>recognized a greater purpose than getting off the jet. And proud that
    >>my company, American Airlines knows how to handle this situation with
    >>humility and honor.
    >>
    >>"As you go through your day, remember that there are thousands of men
    >>and women overseas in the service of our country, far from home and in

    >>danger's way. Please remember that they have families back here who
    >>live every day in fear of the phone call or visit with the news that
    >>their worst nightmare has come true.
    >>
    >>"Be thankful for their efforts and if you know someone who is in the
    >>service -- get their address from their family and write them and
    >>thank them. It's the least you can do."
    Bob D

  2. #2

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    Amazing post, thanks for sharing.

    Says a lot about our country and the people who make it up.

  3. #3
    PhillipsRC's Avatar
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    Bob,

    Thanks for posting this.

    My flight was two years ago. Took a Sailor home to Wichita, Kansas.

    Everyone involved made sure he received the greatest amount of respect and care that was possible.

    At any other time, the ramp is a busy, loud place. On that day, as the aircraft was being unloaded, you could have heard a pin drop.

    Ray

  4. #4
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this Bob.



    Alex


    xx

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