One of the girls asked a question about the seat located in the glass covered nose of the airplane and before I knew it a frail voice began from the elderly man in response to her question. It turns out that was 'his' plane hanging there in that museum and his job during the war was sitting in that seat and aiming the big guns. He began to reminisce and as his eyes glazed over he began to tell us of his downing over Germany and his eventual capture and life as a POW, he called his fellow soldiers by name as if we would know them. His voice quivered once or twice and there were several long pauses as he appeared to get lost in his own memories but the girls seem to hang onto each word and cheered when he told them of his release and all the while his gaze never left the plane.
The younger girls were getting restless so we thanked him for answering her question and the girls thanked him for his service and we made our way towards the giftshop for Astronaut Ice Cream. As the rest of our group finally met up with us the girls all began to retell the story of the hero they just met and it made me so happy to know he made an impression on them. I know he did on me.
Thank You random Vet at Wright Pat that day, thank you to my husband, thank you to the men and women who serve in any uniform...Thank you for your service an sacrifice so we can continue to live as we do.