What a great idea! Stow carry-ons and thank a soldier

flagThis is not about war. Or politics. It’s about the personal sacrifice soldiers are making.

Those aren’t my words. They’re the words of Delta Air Lines flight attendant Robin Schmidt, who came up with a brilliant idea to thank our men and women in uniform.

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“If I can do something to brighten their day,” she says, “then I will.”

And she has.

If you fly with Schmidt, pay close attention to what she says after the in-flight announcements. As our friends over at the Cincinnati Enquirer report,

After listening to the familiar speech of stowing all carry-on items and how the seat cushion can be used as a flotation device, [she] then asks a favor of everyone on board.

She passes around a journal, asking people to write a personal message to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan. When the journal is filled with jokes, prayers and notes of encouragement, she packs it up and sends it along with a care package to a soldier.

Schmidt ‘adopted’ Army National Guard Sgt. Tim Gallagher last year and sends care packages on a monthly basis. Although he says he enjoys the snacks and toiletries, he considers the journals the most moving and thoughtful of all the gifts he has received, according to the report.

They will be something I cherish for the rest of my life. Something for the ages to look at and see how people really feel about what we are doing here. What Robin has done for me is kept my spirits high and me constantly guessing and laughing.

I’m particularly surprised that this happened at an airline like Delta, which isn’t exactly known for allowing its crewmembers to take this kind of initiative.

Even though Schmidt insists her actions aren’t political, there’s no doubt some passengers will interpret them as such. That makes Delta’s decision to allow her to do this particularly gutsy.

(Special thanks to reader Carl Gehr for tipping off to this story.)

(Photo: Ambrosiana Pictures (P)/Flickr Creative Commons)