Or lack thereof. I’m talking about respect towards our military personnel. There are many ways to show it, of course. During the time period I was in the U.S. Army (August, 1967 to April, 1970), military personnel flew stand-by on commercial airlines. We were the last to board if we were lucky enough to have a seat available after all of the civilian passengers boarded. I spent countless hours warming a bench in various airport terminals, waiting for an empty seat on a flight that was going in the right direction. If there was blame to had, it fell on both our military leaders and the airlines. Either one could’ve fixed the situation.

In recent times I’ve been very, very pleased to see that military personnel are the first to board an airliner, or at least in group 1 to board – just like 1st class passengers. This change with the airlines was long overdue. During my time in the military I felt like a 2nd class citizen when I traveled, waiting and waiting for a seat. We were treated poorly when we traveled and poorly when we returned home. It’s taken a long time for me to get over that fact. Actually, I’m not sure I’m completely over it – it still bugs me a bit.