Wright Words: Dear soldier on an Alaskan Airlines flight from Washington, D.C., to Seattle

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Feb. 13, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    I fly for the military and sometimes I feel almost guilty when people tell me "thank you" for my service.


    Because 22 1/2 yrs ago when I was commissioned, my desire was not to "serve" but simply to fly.

    I will say that the older I get the more I truly, truly love our country. It makes me tremendously sad to think of what we are as a a nation when compared to what we could be. Anyway, in my opinion, if you REALLY want to thank someone, I'd say thank those that have carried the fight to the enemy the most, and that would be the grunts on the ground....the Army and Marine ground-pounders fighting door to door and live on MREs and a few hours of sleep a night in countries filled with those who would slit your throat simply because of what country you were born in. THOSE guys, I think, deserve our respect the most.

  • Isaiah 1:15 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 13, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    As a former Capt of Marines I'd say, WAKE UP KID BEFORE YOU'RE KILLED FIGHTING FOR WALL STREET, just as two time Medal of Honor winner General Smedley Butler pointed out 100 years ago. Go to youtube and look up How Opium Greed Is Keeping US Troops in Afghanistan.

  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:34 p.m.

    Re: FT1/SS "It's not difficult to just walk up to a servicemember and say "Thank you for your service"."

    FT1, it is a lot harder than you know. I am an outgoing person and this is still the hardest thing I ever am nervous about doing.

  • GFuller Mattoon, IL
    Feb. 12, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    I appreciate the article, but I think there are better ways to thank military members for what they have done than merely saying thank you. I wore the uniform of the United States Air Force on active duty from July 1951 through July 1971. I spent about 11 months of 1952-53 in Korea and about 15 months of 1968-69 in Thailand. I have never availed myself of VA medical services and have not needed to do so, but one of the better ways to thank our veterans than with words is with actions to support VA, and to elect wise political leaders.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    I'am not going to give the writer a pass because he's a NY Times Bestseller. The article sounded like a pity party the writer decided to give himself for sympathy from the readers or maybe he was pressed to hit a deadline to write an article. The ignorance of the general population toward a servicemember in uniform is a growing trend. That's what I was reminded of by the writer. It's not difficult to just walkup to a servicemember and say "Thank you for your service". I never looked for it, but was always pleasently suprised by it.

  • donn layton, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    RE: just-commenting, A nice article and I appreciate the sentiment and kind thoughts toward the soldier. I agree,

    After spending a year in Southeast and Vietnam, in the AF Security Forces,I was honorably discharged at Travis AFB in 1970. We were told to change from our uniforms to civilians clothes before we left for San Francisco airport because of the Anti-war protesters. Who, we were told that they were capable of spitting and throwing stuff at us.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    Dear Soldier, Thank you for protecting us from Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries that pose absolutely no meaningful threat to the security of the United States. They have no ability to project power in their own regions, let alone across oceans. Your service has its purposes.

  • just-commenting Logan, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    A nice article and I appreciate the sentiment and kind thoughts toward the soldier. I was on active duty for more than 13 years, covering all the period of the Viet Nam War and a few years more. We were despised, and morale was low. Toward the end of the war, we were told to not wear uniforms off-post in order to avoid the all-too-frequent epithets and the scenes created by war protesters. Even within the military there were problems with insubordination, with enlisted refusing to salute officers and actions much worse (fragging).

    I was not supportive of the politicians who engineered that mess, but as a surgeon, I was more than willing to spend long days and nights caring for the wounded who needed my services. Thanks from the soldiers and their families was sufficient reward, and although I was years late to finally establish my own practice, there are no regrets and I would do it all again without hesitation.

  • Clifton Palmer McLendon Gilmer, TX
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    (from a service-connected disabled veteran)

    We -- all of us, both those now serving and those who have served -- did it that YOU might live free.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    Great letter,
    I've always gone out of my way to say Thank You to the men and women in uniform I meet.

    As a Veteran,
    no matter where in the world it was I served,
    no matter what the job was I was asked to do,
    the single thing than made me feel the proudest to be an American was just the chance to wear our nation's Uniform.

    I hope others have felt the same way as well.

  • Kazbert VAIL, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    Heart and Mind:

    Well, you had me going! I re-read the column thinking I somehow must have missed some important reference to a "Jared." Not a bad reason to read such a wonderful column twice.

  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    Jason, sorry about the first name mistake. It was just a test for you. I didn't want all the writing compliments to give you a big head and make you think you were Jack Grisham or Ted Clancy.

  • Doug Zumbrun marion, IN
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    Jason, Thanks for giving me the courage to never have such a regret.

  • comments and stuff spanish fork, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    this is so true
    "Honor ... comes [due to] the service itself."
    thnx for the strong and touching reminder abt the sacrifices and honorable service of others. i'll look for other service providers to thank

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Feb. 11, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    Jason, THANK YOU!hon for a once again beautifully written article. Your hard earned ability is appreciated and the thoughts are so very true....

    @Heart and Mind: AMEN!!

  • Common-Tator Saint Paul, MN
    Feb. 11, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Jared, as so many of us veterans would simply say ... "You're welcome, and thank you."

    I took my uniform off for the last time nearly 3 years ago, after 34 years of wearing it. We've seen that support wax and wane over the years. I believe it fair to say that we are at a high right now not seen since perhaps WWII (though obviously, I was not around to see that!) I was married for 30 of those years, and when we calculated it, we estimated I had spent roughly 7 1/2 of those away from the family. I count myself blessed that it wasn't more, as many of my fellow-soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines had to endure. And what's more, my bride, children, friends, and those I didn't know such as yourself, unfailingly sustained me through all of that.

    So with that in mind ... Thank You. Keep doing so for those now carrying that banner.

  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    Feb. 11, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    Jared, Thank you for eloquently stating what many of us join you in feeling. May your head cold quickly pass, but may your love of freedom-keepers stay annoyingly strong.