This post doesn’t have anything to do with personal change or career reinvention. I wanted to write this simply because I believe it is worth celebrating.
Last week, I had the pleasure of going to BWI (Baltimore/Washington International) airport to do a report. My assignment: profile Operation Welcome Home Maryland. They are a group of volunteers who give troops serving overseas a warm welcome home upon returning to the United States.
BWI is one of the most active, non-military airports that transports our troops. For that reason, the volunteers with Operation Welcome want to make sure every serviceman and woman know that they are appreciated and welcomed. Some of the military may not have any family waiting for them, if they are just stopping through on a lay-over. Others may have someone waiting for them, but the cheers from absolute strangers is still an unexpected if not amusing welcome.
One of the lead volunteers named Pat told me why she did this. “I am the mother of two service members, active duty Army. One is currently stationed in Afghanistan, and hopefully his tour of duty will be over in February next year. And I do this because of them. Someone greets them because I can’t be there with them all the time, so I do the same in return for other soldiers whose families aren’t here to meet them.”
Just last week, the official announcement that the United State’s war with Iraq ended, after 8 years, 8 months and 25 days, to be exact. The end of that war is bittersweet, as many men and women lost their lives. However, there are those who can come home, and will have relatives, friends, and even strangers, greeting them with open arms.