I will never be a Mainer (I moved here in 1994 to teach, but it takes several generations to be counted as a true Mainer). But I am so proud of my adopted state because of how we treat returning soldiers, sailors, marines and air force personnel. Unlike when I was coming of age in the late 60s when there was a draft, it is often very easy for us to forget what these men and women are doing for us. While we can agree or disagree about war strategies, we MUST welcome those who have served our country -- and that makes me proud to be at least a newly-arrived Mainer. If you happen to be a regular passenger in Bangor, regular bar services and other non-essential things will be shut down briefly every time a C130 or equivalent lands.
The Bangor Airport not only serves to welcome international flights as first port of call when passengers have become drunk or unruly on flights (of course none of you are among them!), but because of its reputation as Troop Welcomers.
Today, the Welcomers greeted many of
Please let us remember those who have chosen to serve the country. Welcome home! If any of you out of New England have experienced the Bangor Welcomers, please write in. We are so proud of you and of them!
As a soldier in the late 1960s and 1970s I was one of those forgotten folks and at times spat upon. It was not a pleasant time but I resisted the temptation to respond in kind, being kid who was raised on being nice to others, and also proud to be serving his country.
So I go out of my way to acknowledge the servce that these new generations of undrafted men and women give to the country. I have been in restaurants near a base where a young enlisted man was dining with a girlfriend and was one of the many who vied to pay his bill before they did. Small gesture but in some small way it's a payback for the treatment that I never got.
Please try to make these heroes feel welcome--I always do!
Well, I too was a 19 year old returning from a year in SEA (Tan Son Nhut and Cam Ranh Bay 70-71) only to be welcomed by a handful of street scum outside the gate at Travis. Everyone's entitled to an opinion and mine is that is is disingenuous to be against winning the war while claiming to support the heroes who see that as the end game and are putting their lives on the line every minute of every day they're in the zone. Someone on this message board earlier took the words out of my mouth..."I hate Jane Fonda."
I have travelled through the Bangor Airport several times during my military career. I was always surprised and appreiciative of the warm reception we encountered at the airport. No mater what time of day or night there was always a welcome party there. Be it the USO or volunteers it was nice to be sent off and even better to be welcome back home in the USA by the citizens of Bangor. Most times Bangor was close to the end of a very long trans-atlantic/Middle Eastern flight. I hope I gave my gratitude to those that welcome me; and if not, I hope it's not too late to say, "Thank you very much".
Hi Kayjbee and others,
The gratitude is all owed to you -- but at least I'm happy to live near a place that shows how much you all -- past and present service members -- mean to us. I think it's been made too easy these days for us to forget how many are serving, suffering and sacrificing all for our country.