On my flight to Honolulu last Wednesday, we had a passenger who was a survivor of the Pearl Harbor raid. He wore his Navy uniform with all medals and was in a wheelchair. Turns out this 90 year old survivor was heading over for the 69th anniversary of that attack.
I tried to buy him a drink (with my credit card, not a voucher—I have a lot of vouchers because I fly so much but the point of the drink would be that I paid for it for real, if that makes sense). At first he was asleep and then later, someone in first class had already sent drinks back. After that, the flight attendant refused to let me buy any of my own drinks. He told me later he believed he’d missed his true calling to have a military career.
It’s weird. I am very proud of having served although I do not consider myself a blind follower of all US policies. And I really truly wanted to honor this survivor of what was a horrible attack committed without warning. Yet I, who never saw combat, ended up getting honored by this flight attendant because of my service and because I wanted to honor the Navy veteran. I was tempted to refuse because I am no survivor of acts of war; I realized to have done so would have diminished what that flight attendant was trying to do.
Back to fluffy kitty stuff tomorrow, I swear.