delta air lines

H.R. stands for human remains
>> >>> Be prepared with a tissue.  This is a true story:
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an H.R. on
>> >>> this flight.” (H.R. stands for human remains.)
>> >>>
>> >>> “Are they military?” I asked.
>> >>>
>> >>> ‘Yes’, she said.
>> >>>
>> >>> ‘Is there an escort?’ I asked.
>> >>>
>> >>> ‘Yes, I’ve already assigned him a seat.’
>> >>>
>> >>> ‘Would you please tell him to come to the Flight Deck. You can
>> >>> board him early,” I said…
>> >>>
>> >>> A short while later a young army sergeant entered the flight deck.
>> >>> He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier.  He introduced
>> >>> himself and I asked him about his soldier.
>> >>>
>> >>> The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they
>> >>> are still alive and still with us.  ‘My soldier is on his way back
>> >>> to Virginia ,’ he said.  He proceeded to answer my questions, but
>> >>> offered no other words.
>> >>>
>> >>> I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said
>> >>> no.  I told him that he had the toughest job in the military, and
>> >>> that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our
>> >>> fallen soldiers.  The first officer and I got up out of our seats
>> >>> to shake his hand.  He left the Flight Deck to find his seat.
>> >>>
>> >>> We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an
>> >>> uneventful departure.  About 30 minutes into our flight, I
>> >>> received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.
>> >>>
>> >>> ‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is
>> >>> also on board’, she said.  She then proceeded to tell me that the
>> >>> father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their
>> >>> son, husband, and father home.  The family was upset because they
>> >>> were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we
>> >>> left.
>> >>>
>> >>> We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to
>> >>> wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia .  The
>> >>> father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his
>> >>> son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see
>> >>> him was too much for him and the family to bear.  He had asked the
>> >>> flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow
>> >>> them to see him upon our arrival.  The family wanted to be outside
>> >>> by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane.
>> >>>
>> >>> I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when
>> >>> she asked me if there was anything I could do. ‘I’m on it’, I
>> >>> said.  I told her that I would get back to her.
>> >>>
>> >>> Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form
>> >>> of e-mail like messages.  I decided to bypass this system and
>> >>> contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.  There
>> >>> is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects
>> >>> you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact
>> >>> with the dispatcher.  I explained the situation I had on board with
>> >>> the family and what it was the family wanted.
>> >>> He said he understood and that he would get back to me.
>> >>>
>> >>> Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher.  We
>> >>> were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the
>> >>> family.  I sent a text message asking for an update.  I saved the
>> >>> return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:
>> >>>
>> >>> ‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.  There is
>> >>> policy on this now, and I had to check on a few things.  Upon your
>> >>> arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.  The team
>> >>> will escort the family to the ramp and plane side.  A van will be
>> >>> used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family.
>> >>>
>> >>> The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into
>> >>> the terminal, where the remains can be seen on the ramp.  It is a
>> >>> private area for the family only.  When the connecting aircraft
>> >>> arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side
>> >>> to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home.
>> >>>
>> >>> Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans.  Please
>> >>> pass our condolences on to the family.  Thanks.
>> >>>
>> >>> I sent a message back, telling flight control thanks for a good
>> >>> job.  I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight
>> >>> attendant to pass on to the father.  The lead flight attendant was
>> >>> very thankful and told me, ‘You have no idea how much this will mean
>> >>> to them.’
>> >>>
>> >>> Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing.
>> >>> After
>> >>> landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area.  The
>> >>> ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway.  It is
>> >>> always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to
>> >>> enter and exit.  When we entered the ramp and checked in with the
>> >>> ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.
>> >>>
>> >>> ‘There is a team in place to meet the aircraft’, we were told.  It
>> >>> looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once
>> >>> we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once
>> >>> and delay the family from getting off the airplane.  As we
>> >>> approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp
>> >>> controller, we were going to stop short of the gate to make an
>> >>> announcement to the passengers.  He did that and the ramp controller
>> >>> said, ‘Take your time.’
>> >>>
>> >>> I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake.  I pushed the
>> >>> public address button and said:  ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is
>> >>> your Captain
>> >>> speaking: I have stopped short of our gate to make a special
>> >>> announcement.
>> >>> We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect.
>> >>> His ame is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life.
>> >>> Private XXXXXX s under your feet in the cargo hold.  Escorting him
>> >>> today is Army Sergeant XXXXXX.  Also, on board are his father,
>> >>> mother, wife, and daughter.  Your entire flight crew is asking for
>> >>> all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit
>> >>> the aircraft first.  Thank you.’
>> >>>
>> >>> We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our
>> >>> shutdown procedures.  A couple of minutes later I opened the
>> >>> cockpit door.  I found the two forward flight attendants crying,
>> >>> something you just do not see.  I was told that after we came to a
>> >>> stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting
>> >>> for the family to exit the aircraft.
>> >>>
>> >>> When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger
>> >>> slowly started to clap his hands.  Moments later, more passengers
>> >>> joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping.  Words of
>> >>> ‘God Bless You’, I’m sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind
>> >>> words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the
>> >>> aisle and out of the airplane.  They were escorted down to the ramp
>> >>> to finally be with their loved one.
>> >>>
>> >>> Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the
>> >>> announcement I had made.  They were just words, I told them, I
>> >>> could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back
>> >>> that brave soldier.
>> >>>
>> >>> I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the
>> >>> sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure
>> >>> our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA .
>> >>>
>> >>> Foot note:
>> >>>
>> >>> I know everyone who reads this will have tears in their eyes,
>> >>> including me.
>> >>> Prayer chain for our Military… Don’t break it!  Please send this
>> >>> on after a short prayer for our service men and women.
>> >>>
>> >>> They die for me and mine and you and yours and deserve our honor
>> >>> and respect.
>> >>>
>> >>> Prayer Request:
>> >>>
>> >>> When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer
>> >>> for our troops around the world… There is nothing attached.
>> >>> Just send this to people in your address book.  Do not let it stop
>> >>> with you.  Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier,
>> >>> Sailor, Airman, and others deployed in harm’s way, prayer is the very
>> >>> best one.
>> >>>
>> >>> GOD BLESS YOU!!!
>> >>>
>> >>> Thank you all who have served, or are serving.  We Will not forget.
>> >>>
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>> >>> =
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>

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