Friday, December 21, 2007

One Of G-d's Small Miracles, 12/21/07

From time to time, I'm going to try and post items that may not have much to do with the overall theme of this site...or then again, they may everything to do with it.

Well, it's the season for miracles isn't it? And this time the recipients were some US troops and their families.

The 436th Chemical Company of the Texas Army National Guard was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, waiting for deployment to Afghanistan.

When they found out their deployment was to be delayed until after Christmas, their first thought was about trying to make it home to Texas for Christmas with their families. The unit's commander was amenable,but only if arrangements were possible for every soldier. Families scurried to raise money to fund everyone's trip to Texas, but were unsuccessful in raising enough money. And that's when Southwest Airlines stepped in. (And no, I don't know why military transport was seems like it should have been.)

Those 171 soldiers will go home for Christmas for free, courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

"Southwest Airlines is happy to be able to grant this Christmas wish for these troops to reunite with their families," said Southwest Airlines President Colleen Barrett. "We are so proud of what these soldiers are doing for our country, and we are blessed to give back."

The cynical among us will note that this is excellent publicity for the airline, and it is. But they're hardly hurting for business during the holidays and it's also a case where an American company saw an opportunity to give of itself, and did. And I somehow doubt that those 171 soldiers look at it as just a cynical corporate ploy.

"The support and generosity of Southwest Airlines is an unbelievable blessing to our soldiers and their families," said Dora Cortez, member of the 436th Chemical Company's Family Support Group. "Many of the children haven't asked for Christmas presents this year; they simply want their daddies home."

The miracle of this time of year is that it's a time where we go beyond ourselves to give to others. That's why those soldiers are going to be headed to Afghanistan to defend their countrymen, and that's why Southwest did what it did.

Have a peaceful and blessed Sabbath.

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