Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Thank You For Our Soldiers

As I mentioned before, our hotel in Minneapolis was very close to the airport but it was also very close to a mall. But not just any old mall...It was the Mall of America!!! It is the largest mall in the United States and it is really BIG. It even has an amusement park built right inside. The weather was nice so I walked over there from the hotel to have some lunch and spend some time exploring the enormous place. The holiday shoppers seemed to be out in force even though it was a weekday. It was packed!

Back to the hotel and a short drive to the airport and soon we were flying south to Texas again. The sun was setting as we ate our crew meals. The pilots usually eat the same meals that the first class passengers get.

I shot this photo of the sunset with a contrail nearby. A contrail or "condensation trail" is formed at high altitudes when the air is very cold and the hot exhaust from the engines meets the cold moist air. Sometimes a cloud is formed and can linger all day long if the conditions are just right. It's similar to in the winter when you can see your breath when it's very cold outside.

Back at DFW I was getting our flight plan ready to go to Nashville and I noticed a large group of soldiers at our gate. There must have been about 30 of them. I went over and asked a couple of them what they were doing on our flight. They said that they were flying on our airline to Nashville and then boarding a bus to go to Ft Campbell, Kentucky and then boarding a military charter jet to Iraq. They would be traveling for over 24 hours straight! I welcomed them aboard but personally felt bad for them knowing that they were heading to war over the upcoming holidays. Once on the plane I made a PA to the passengers about the soldiers being on board, what their mission was that night and thanking them for their service and hoping that they would soon return home. That brought a huge round of applause from all the regular passengers! Later inflight, a gentleman passenger asked if he could buy them all a beer but the flight attendants had already seen to it that the soldiers would receive anything they wanted at no charge. It was a nice gesture on his part.

We made it to Nashville on time and spent a short night at a nearby hotel. Up early the next morning and 3 legs were in store for the day. Nashville to DFW, then San Antonio and back to DFW. Nothing special to report for those 3 legs....just a routine day at the office.

Thanks for reading.

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