In memory to our fallen soldiers; this story will bless you…

In memory to our fallen soldiers,

who have made the supreme sacrifice…

God bless them all, and God bless their families!

What a moving and heart rendering story…

Just think, this is happening today, among so many families, all across our land.

I feel privileged even to have the opportunity to hear this story, because of the awesome show of love and compassion that was displayed in gratitude to this one family, over the loss of their son, husband, and father.

God bless them,

Skip Barland

From: Dennis
Sent: Thursday, June 03, 2010 8:32 AM
To: Skip Barland;
Subject: FW: Memorial Day – a great message!!

—-Forwarded Message—-


Memorial Day – a great message!!!


He writes: My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an H.R. on this flight.” (H.R. stands for human remains.) “Are they military?” I  asked.

‘Yes’, she said.

‘Is there an escort?’ I asked.

‘Yes, I already assigned him a seat’.

‘Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early,” I said..

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier.

He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier.

The escorts of  these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.

‘My soldier is on his way back to Virginia,’ he said.  He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no.

I told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers.

The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure.  About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.

I  just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board,” she said.

She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home.

The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left.

We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia.

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear.

He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival?

The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane… I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do?

I’m on it,” I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages.

I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.

There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher.

I was in direct contact with the dispatcher…  I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted.

He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family.

I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

“Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There  is policy on this now and I had to check on a few  things.

Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft. The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side.

A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family.

The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp.

It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home.

Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.”

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job.

I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father.

The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, “You have no idea how much this will mean to them.”

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing.

After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area.

The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway.  It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit.

When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

There is a team in place to meet the aircraft,” we were told.

It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from  getting off the airplane.

As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers.

He did that and the ramp controller said, “Take your time.”

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said:

Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement.

We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect.  His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life.

Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold.

Escorting him today is Army Sergeant  XXXXXXX.  Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter.

Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.”

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see.

I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping.

Words of ‘God Bless You’, I’m sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane.

They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made.

They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United  States of AMERICA .

Foot note: As a Viet Nam Veteran I can only think of all the veterans including the ones that rode below the deck on their way home and how they were treated.

When I read things like this I am proud that our country has not turned their backs on our soldiers returning from the various war zones today and give them the respect they so deserve.

I know everyone who has served their country who reads this will have tears in their eyes, including me.

Prayer chain for our Military… Don’t break it!

Please send this on after a short prayer… Prayer for our soldiers.

Don’t break it!


“Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen”

Prayer Request: When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our troops around the world.

There is nothing attached. Just send this to people in your address book. Do not let it stop with you.

Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm’s way, prayer is the very best one!


Sorry about your monitor; it made mine blurry too!


This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

One thought on “In memory to our fallen soldiers; this story will bless you…”

  1. Hey Skipper
    Not sure you got my last email.
    My announcement that my son Ryan is home from Afghanistan– FOR GOOD, no more deployments.

    This is what I sent out to ALL who prayed for my boy:

    Dear Family and Friends-

    I HAVE incredible joyful news.
    On “THIS” memorable Memorial Day (and his birthday) my son Ryan Rutland CAME HOME from Afghanistan.
    I can’t tell you how good this feels. “Thank you Lord for my family and friends” who stood in the gap and prayed so diligently for my son for the past four years and GOT HIM HOME completely safe from harm.
    After a year in Iraq (2007) and a year in Afghanistan, HE IS HOME FOR GOOD, no more deployments.He has a year and half left in the Army.
    Ryan has tons of stories—‘I am’ going to write a book about how God intervened so many times in vary mysterious ways. I even have producers interested for a movie, you watch, pray for this!
    Ryan, his wife and my grandson Carson (five months old) will spend the next year and half in Colorado Springs doing school finishing off his time in the Army, then go on to more school and possibly U.S. Marshals (or sway him toward something ‘down here’ the film industry as a Wrangler or Armor!! ha ha).

    Thank you and I bless you all!

    Whose sons and daughters who have served in our wars and to those who lost their son or daughter- I THANK YOU for your sacrifice, no higher cost can ever be paid by anyone (except our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ) We all have to understand the cost you have paid.
    After two years in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have my son home. We will spend the rest of our lives forever being grateful for your sacrifice, one that is so misunderstood by so many, but not this one. I bless you in your remaining days, until WE DO SEE them again, we will.
    Thank you
    Mike Rutland, dad of a soldier

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