Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Marines Given Warm Welcome at O'Hare Airport As First Class Passengers Give Up Their Seats For Them

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Nov 06, 2013 08:58 AM EST

Text Size: A A A

chicago
A group of Marines on their way home from Afghanistan got a big welcome at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.(Photo : Reuters)

A group of Marines on their way home from Afghanistan got a big welcome at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

A group of 13 Marines were treated as heroes on their trek home. After spending five days transferring flights to get to the other side of the globe, they were greeted by a small crowd of police, a fire truck water salute and first-class plane tickets, the Daily Mail reports.

Share This Story

A retired Marine and others made sure the Marines were given an appropriate greeting and sendoff as they made the final leg of their trip to San Diego.
The Marine were given a water salute as their plane landed and taxied under an arch of water from fire department hoses. The Marines then walked into the terminal and were given  a warm greeting from a crowd of cheering USO volunteers, firefighters, police officers and airport workers.

When the Marines boarded their last flight to San Diego, they found that American Airlines had six empty seats in first class for the Marines. Even more became available when seven other passengers volunteered to give up their first class seats for the remaining soldiers. The Marines got to enjoy leather seats, more legroom and state-of-the-art headphones on the way home.

"It was incredibly touching," Captain Pravin Rajan said according to the Daily Mail. "Afghanistan is a very complex and ambiguous war ... and a difficult thing to keep track of so it is amazing when we are 10 years (into) a war and there is still that kind of community, that level of support, the level of willingness to go out of one's way."

The greeting was organized with a phone call by Stephanie Hare, an Illinois native who works in England. She called the USO and O'Hare and said that her fiance, Rajan, who had been serving in Afghanistan, was on his way to the airport from Baltimore with the group.

"I just thought if they could get them some Chicago pizza, champagne or something, that would mean a lot," Hare said according to the Daily Mail.

However John Colas, a 4-year-old former Marine USO volunteer picked up the phone. He told Hare that he'd try to organize something in the hour before the flight landed, but he wasn't sure if he could pull it off on such short notice.
He quickly called the police and fire departments, the airlines and others.

"There must have been 15 Chicago firemen and an equal number of Chicago police and they formed a corridor for the Marines when they got off the airplane," Colas said.

Rajan said the Marines didn't know what was going on at first when they looked out the window and saw the fire truck. "For a second, we were like, 'Are we in trouble?'" he said.
Once they realized what was going on, they were grateful for the welcome.

"They were just so thankful - very, very appreciative," Linda Kozma, an American Airlines employee who helps military personnel told the Daily Mail.

Hare didn't know what Colas had pulled off until the next day when she heard a voicemail from Rajan explaining what had happened. "I just thought it was really beautiful," she said.

 

© 2015 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

Travel Tips

Lima, Peru

A Travel Guide to Peru: Things to Know

Peru is a cultural hub filled with unique sights to see, amazing cuisine, a plethora of activities, and is definitely somewhere worth putting on your travel bucket list, but there are a few things to know before planning your trip.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Six Thais, one Italian injured in car bomb blast on Thailand's Samui island

Thailand Car Bomb Explosion: Injures 7 In Popular Resort Island, Act Of Islamic Insurgency?

Thailand Car Bomb Explosion – On Friday, a bomb exploded at the Central Festival shopping mall in Samui Island in Surat Thani province, one of the country’s popular resort islands. The Thailand car bomb explosion, which went off in the basement of the mall after a fashion show at 11:30 p.m., injured seven people, according to authorities.

7 died in a plane crash near Bloomington, IL while returning home from NCAA championship game

Bloomington, Il Plane Crash: 7 Dead While Returning From NCAA Tournament, NTSB Investigating

Bloomington, Il Plane Crash – Seven people died after a small plane crash in McLean County, Illinois, near the Bloomington airport Tuesday while on its way home from the NCAA basketball tournament in Indianapolis. Authorities said that two members of Illinois State University's athletic department were amongst those killed in the Bloomington, Il plane crash.

Dozens arrested as violence erupts at Kentucky's basketball celebration

Lexington Fans Arrested: Wildcat Fans Rampage Over Loss, 31 Arrests Made

Lexington Fans Arrested – Following the loss of Wildcats to the Badgers, a number of Wildcat fans were left bewildered over the loss. However, some fans were quite enraged that they took their rage literally with a number of fires spread in the University of Kentucky’s Lexington Campus.

Caribbean Beach

Delaware Family Pesticide: Family In Critical Condition Following Alleged Pesticide Poisoning At Caribbean Resort

Delaware Family Pesticide – What should have been a safe and enjoyable Caribbean getaway turned out to be a deadly one. A family from Delaware is in serious condition following an alleged pesticide poisoning at the Sirenusa Resort on St. John in the US Virgin Islands.

75,000 Solar Workers To Be Trained By 2020, Says Obama

75,000 Solar Workers: To Be Trained By 2020, Says Obama

75,000 solar workers will now be trained due to a new initiative to expand the nation’s solar industry workforce. The launch of the 75,000 solar workers initiative was made by President Obama during a visit to Utah’s Hill Air Force Base on Friday, according to the Washington Post.

Hundreds of fishermen rescued following Indonesian slavery probe

Hundreds Of Fishermen: Rescued From Slavery In Indonesia, Tasered, Beaten, Whipped With Stingray Tails, Forced To Catch Fish For Western Restaurants?

Hundreds of fishermen rescued Friday from an isolated Indonesian island occurred after an investigation by the Associated Press investigation revealed the workers were enslaved to catch seafood possibly ending up in Western restaurants.

U.S. Navy alarmed at Beijing’s ‘Great Wall of sand’ in South China Sea

China’s Great Wall Of Sand In South China Sea, Why Is U.S. Navy Alarmed?

Great Wall Of Sand – China has been building a “Great Wall of sand” with the use of an unparalleled program of land reclamation in the South China Sea. Because of this great wall of sand, many are having "serious questions" about the country’s intentions for it, according to the BBC.

Viktor Leonov docked on a Cuban wharf.

Kamchatka 43 Dead Trawler: Russian Trawler Sinks Off Kamchatka, 54 Confirmed Dead, What Cased Trawler To Sink?

Kamchatka 43 Dead Trawler – A Russian Trawler off the Kamchatka peninsula has reportedly sunk. The trawler reportedly had 132 people on board. 54 of the sailors are confirmed to have died. While 63 of the people have been rescued, 15 people are still missing.

Nepal Rhino Attacks Town in southern Nepal

Viral Video: Giant Rhino Chases Motorcycles, Injures 6 And Kills 1 In Nepal

Viral Video - Giant Rhino Chases Motorcycles – In Nepal, it is not surprising to see rhinoceros in and around the area. However, one surprising event was when one rhinoceros decided to stray from its natural habitat and started chasing motorcycles.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2015 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics