Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Locals in Bangor, Maine, are on a mission to greet every military plane, at any time, in any weather. Their tally so far: 200,000 troops.
Tired and bleary-eyed, Marines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Regiment, based at wentynine Palms, Calif., were finally back on U.S. soil after seven months on the front lines in Iraq.
But they were still many miles and hours from their families and the homecoming they longed for. Their officers told them they would be on the ground for 60 to 90 minutes while their chartered plane was refueled.
So they disembarked and began walking through the airport terminal corridor to a small waiting room.
That's when they heard the applause.
Lining the hall and clapping were dozens of Bangor residents who have set a daunting task for themselves: They want every Marine, soldier, sailor and airman returning through the tiny international airport here to get a hero's welcome.
Even if the planes arrive in the middle of the night or a blizzard, they are there.
Good job citizens. Read more at latimes.com.
Hat tip Mudville Gazette