Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Ticket to Iraq

After bad scheduling on behalf of Delta Airlines I found myself stuck in the Atlanta International Airport, and on route to Brazil, I ran into over 300 soldiers that were waiting to catch a plane to Iraq and report for Duty.

They had gathered from all over the country, Pittsburg, Knoxville, Detroit and had been waiting since I arrived around 8am to catch a flight that left that night at 9pm. It felt so strange to watch so many soldiers in military garb, sitting in front of a Panda Express, wandering around aimlessly in the duty free shop, and checking their facebook pages on route to such a dramatic place.

I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to some lovely gentlemen in the smoking room of the terminal. Their faces were hung low and they apologized for their depressed demeanor. An older man talked to me and answered questions about where he was from and who was waiting for him while the two younger men sat silently staring at the floor, puffing cigarettes, and text messaging on their cellphones.

Another more humorous soul showed up and asked, "What's with the long faces boys? Isn't this the plane to Cancun?"

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