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Friday, December 07, 2012

Until They All Come Home

For reasons beyond my personal control, I recently found myself snarling through the long and winding bowels of the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport ...which, if you haven't had the pleasure and so are unaware, is quite possibly the most preposterous travel hub north of the equator. As I finally managed to stagger my way to the end of another endless hallway that led, allegedly, to the 'Exit' doors, I came upon an impromptu party.

There were maybe fifty people standing behind the security perimeter, some holding American flags, some holding "Welcome Home!" signs, some in uniform. All of them were looking down the hallway I had just emerged from. About ten strides behind me was an Army sergeant in camo carrying a duffel. I stopped to analyze this crowd, he walked past me, and the crowd erupted in cheers and applause. Ah, I thought. This is a welcome-home party for that sergeant ... but the sergeant only tipped the applauding crowd a wave before continuing on his way.

Another man in uniform emerged from the hallway, and the assembled crowd lit up again.

And then another. And another. And another.

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