Dignified Journey home,
Colin Kimball, a local artist asked me if I could handle transporting a beautiful painting of a fallen Warrior, Sgt Merlin German up to DC to the Wounded Warrior Regiment where they are going to dedicate the call center in his name. We just had a conference this weekend and my right hand man, 1stLt Jose Valle volunteered to take Sgt German back to Quantico for us.
Now this isn’t a small painting and I wanted to make sure that Lt. Valle made it though security and on the plane in one piece with Sgt. German in tow.
I contacted the two pilots on the flight, Rex and Steve and explained the situation and just wanted to ensure that this painting made it on the flight with 1stLt Valle. They both emailed back right away about taking care of this special cargo to DCA. It’s nice to see things click together and Godspeed to a great Marine!!
Well, the check-in at AA was made super smooth when a wonderful AA employee named Cathy (gate agent at C24), helped Jose at the ticket counter (she was a mature lady with a Kevlar helmet, rifle, and boots the symbol of a fallen hero on her left breast. She went above and beyond the call of duty.) She basically helped these two Marines navigate TSA and make it to the gate where Jose and the painting were accommodated on the flight up to DCA with the dignity that this fallen warrior deserves. I have little doubt that without the express coordination provided by Rex and Steve, along with Cathy, this might not have gone so smoothly. The Cabin crew treated Lt. Valle like Royalty all the way to DCA as well. Knowing this outstanding modest Marine, it made him blush a bit but being a former Gunny, I know what the metal his heart is made of, he would do this for a Marine any day and twice on Sunday. I’m honored to serve with a man of his caliber.
These kind acts for a Serviceman (no matter what the branch) go above and beyond and this painting of young Sgt German, a portrait of how he should look, will live on forever thanks to the awesome employee’s of American Airlines, a great young 1st Lieutenant, Jose Valle and the humble artist, Colin Kimble who expresses his love for our guys through a paint brush.