Today, I flew through Chicago. I sat next to a soldier who had just finished his tour of duty.
"It was a long year," he said. And now his journey home. Iraq, Kuwait, Germany, Maine, Indiana, Chicago. A travel weary young man, yet we had a pleasant talk.
As the wheels touched the tarmac of his hometown I said, "Welcome home."
He nodded and a smile welled like a natural spring to light his whole being. "Thanks."
We were strangers, but with those simple words, we shared a moment entwined with the sacrifice of service and the sweetness of home.
It was a privilege.