Its Not Just About Real Estate...Is It?

By
Real Estate Agent

I wanted to share an experience I had yesterday that I would have missed had I "kept my nose to the grindstone" and gone to my office, met with clients or shown property. You know, the things we do for a living.

Instead, yesterday I joined the ranks of Veterans, Boy Scouts, families with pets, and supporters of all nationalities - over three hundred strong - to welcome Flight 398 carrying 206 members of India Company, 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Division from California as they returned home from Afghanistan. Departing from Germany eight hours earlier, Portsmouth International Airport at Pease AFB in Portsmouth, NH was a brief fueling stop before the final leg of their journey home to California.

A tradition beginning in 2005, the Pease Greeters have been welcoming returning troops and sending troops off for overseas duty and have logged their support for 399 flights to date. Regardless of the time of day or night and unpredictable changes in flight schedules, the Pease Greeters have never missed a flight.

Political party lines dissolve. Supporters of the wars blend with the opponents. The purpose of a Pease Greeter is remarkably steady and clear - to provide unwavering support and show gratitude to the men and women who proudly serve our country.

During their stop at Pease, the soldiers are treated to cheers and hearty handshakes from hoards of well-wishers, hot coffee, doughnuts and other treats, stuffed toys and are given access to a bank of phones where they may make calls anywhere in the country. All goods and services are provided by donation and volunteers. During a brief ceremony before departing, as a symbol of support, the Commanding Officer of the troop is presented a sweatshirt hand signed by each attendant Pease Greeter. A similar sweatshirt was presented to George W. Bush when a delegation of Pease Greeters was honored during a ceremony at the White House on March 10, 2008. New Hampshire's Governor John Lynch also received a sweatshirt when he presented an award to the Pease Greeters praising them for their service at a ceremony on July 28, 2010 at the National Guard Armory in Manchester, NH.

So the stage is set...the awaiting multitude has just been told, "The eagle has landed" and we hold our breath in unison and wait in silence for the doors from Customs to open and begin the stream of returning soldiers. They have been told nothing about a Pease Greeter welcome. We watch their faces instantly transform from travel weary soldiers to proud heroes amid thunderous applause as they make their way through the gauntlet of well-wishers lining the terminal corridors and pass through the "Heroes Walk", a photograph lined ramp memorializing each flight that has passed through Pease with troops.

After we have honored our troops headed home to California and they have boarded, we take our places again to wait for Flight 399 scheduled to arrive about an hour or so later. This flight is bringing US soldiers overseas to a destination we Greeters do not know yet. Some of the previous Greeters have gone home, some new faces have arrived and replaced those who left for more pressing matters.

We wait patiently until we are told Flight 399 has landed, but due to time constraints and take-off schedule, the soldiers are not permitted to leave the plane and enter the terminal. Upon hearing the news, the Greeters exchange glances, but do not turn and leave right away, still hoping something may change and the soldiers may come in. Although disappointed at the turn of events, NO ONE is heard muttering, "...and we waited all this time for NOTHING", because each Greeter knows in his heart, this was an opportunity to wait for SOMETHING. Something that matters.

In the chilly darkness, as we make our way back to our cars, I am once again reminded by the words of Lee Greenwood, that I am proud to be an American.

 

Posted by

John's Photo   

                                                                               

         John McCarthy

         Your Seacoast NH Realtor

         Bean Group
         1150 Sagamore Ave

         Portsmouth, NH 03801

         800-450-7784 ext 7306 Office
         603-418-1521 Cell 

         Email Me

                                       

  Looking for a great REALTOR®? Let me GOOGLE ONE for you!                              

 

 

 

Comments (11)

Yolanda Hoversten
Self Employed - O'Fallon, IL
Referrals for O’Fallon, IL & the Metro East

Thank you for sharing this story.  I hope this tradition continues--our troops deserved and earned it.

Oct 24, 2010 06:44 AM
John McCarthy
North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Yolanda. thank you so much for taking the time to read this story. It was a very moving experience.

I am a new ActiveRain Member. Do you have any suggestions to keep me moving in the right direction?

Oct 24, 2010 06:55 AM
Yolanda Hoversten
Self Employed - O'Fallon, IL
Referrals for O’Fallon, IL & the Metro East

Hi, John.  Welcome to AR!  You've already posted a good one.  May I suggest that you join the Newbie Group for new members, and the Realtors Group.  You can post on the Newbie group to introduce yourself. 

One sure way to establish yourself is to make comments on people's blogs, and when they comment on yours, to reciprocate.  Also read the featured blogs, and offer to help if you have expertise on things.

Best of luck and enjoy the experience!

Oct 25, 2010 12:38 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Well done, John!  What a beautiful post...brought tears to my eyes.  I can only imagine the disappointment of not seeing the second group of soldiers.  You should join the group "Pay It Forward" Accountability Group and post this there.  You can put your posts in up to five groups.  If you post to groups you get more visability and therefore, more comments.

Welcome!  A word of caution...this place is addictive!

Oct 25, 2010 12:44 PM
Michael Moquin
Bayside Foreclosure & Estate Services,LLC - Greenland, NH

John, glad to see you here! 

Thank you for sharing this experience and for taking the time out of your day to show our troops they are supported. 

Oct 25, 2010 10:50 PM
John McCarthy
North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Yolanda, thanks for your help. I know this is a wonderful environment!

Sharon, there is no doubt this place is addictive...and fun! This site is HUGE. I went to the Groups section to look for the "Pay It Forward" group. Is there a shortcut to finding these groups without scrolling through zillions of pages?

Michael, it took a while to get here. I wish I had joined a long time ago. I think you and I met at an REO on Dows Lane in Seabrook. Best of luck with your business!

 

Oct 26, 2010 04:11 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

You could enter the name of the group in the "search" area and find it that way.

Oct 30, 2010 01:22 PM
Yolanda Hoversten
Self Employed - O'Fallon, IL
Referrals for O’Fallon, IL & the Metro East

Hi, John.  If you haven't found that particular group, here 'tis... http://activerain.com/groups/payitforwardgroup

The suggestion above is very good.  Also on the tool bar above, you can just click on "Group" to take you there.  Unfortunately groups are not listed alphabetically, but based on memberships and how active the groups are.

 

Nov 04, 2010 08:19 AM
John McCarthy
North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Yolanda,

Thanks for the help. I eventually did find my way there and joined. Now that I have joined, is it "proper" to re-post that blog there? There is so much I have to learn about ActiveRain. I need to learn how to dress up my blogs with an imaginative header and signature. I am really enjoying the community.

Nov 05, 2010 05:18 AM
Yolanda Hoversten
Self Employed - O'Fallon, IL
Referrals for O’Fallon, IL & the Metro East

Hi, John.  It is 'proper', since you have not posted it to any group at all.  The two other groups I invited you to will be very supportive of the sentiment in your post.

Read about headers and signatures, there are good posts about them.  Take your time, you'd be addicted soon enough.  lol

Nov 06, 2010 08:29 AM
John Howard
Century 21 LeMac Realty - Mountain Home, AR
GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614

John,  Thank You for sharing a Great Post!  Congratulations on having joined the group, both here in the rain ...and the Pease Greeters!  

Would suggest you join as a Rainmaker and let your posts be seen by the "real world".  

Nov 09, 2010 12:00 AM