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July 13th, 2008

A Service Flag.

nashville. the delayed flight made me wonder. i went up to the window while on the phone and looked down, just looking around as i do and saw this parked almost out of sight.

being in NYC i never see many if any service personnel unless it’s a special occasion. i mostly just see personnel in airports. usually in texas or florida, where i fly most, both heavy with military bases. it always really upsets me. i wanted to join the military from childhood up through high school till a knee injury kept me out. so even before the war, i was always filled with a sense of jealousy and respect for those that did what i cannot. it always upset me for reasons that aren’t as obvious as the ones today.

it took telling this story to someone else one day to point out the scene in little miss sunshine and ask me if my feelings where similar to the boys frustrating reaction to a suddenly unattainable dream. i had seen the movie, and didn’t even put it together on my own. i was the same age as the character in the film, wanted to be a pilot, it was all i wanted to do and while i didn’t not talk, it wasn’t a far off mark of some of my behavior back then.

so much reality of it all is lost in the city or maybe i just don’t see and feel the loss as easily as i do when i go somewhere else. the service member walking across the terminal, the service sticker on a car in traffic, a decorated luggage car half hidden by the gate. i’ve seen the images of how commercial flights transport remains. so sometimes, when flying and lost in my head, i wonder if there are any on my flight.

i’ll never know, but sometimes i feel the sense of loss anyway as if there were. i don’t even know anyone who has died or served, but while watching their faces on the news, thinking of them on a flight or thinking of it all later alone in a hotel room, it’s just overwhelming.