Meeting a Medal of Honor recipient

I’ve run into a lot of random people in my flying adventures.  Whether meeting my parents for a drink in Rome or heading to Portland for drinks with friends just because it is there, fun things seem to always be around the next corner or at the next airport.  Sitting in Chicago and searching for dinner near the jetBlue gate (easier said than done) I managed to fall into another such cool situation.  I got to meet a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.  The bad news is that I have absolutely no idea who he is.

SBM_9992A fire department water canon salute is not all that common at airports.  They are generally saved for special occasions, like new routes being launched.  So when a US Airways A320 pulled into its gate at O’Hare this afternoon I was somewhat surprised to see it receiving the treatment.  It isn’t like they are adding service at Chicago.  I had sufficient time and inclination so I made the quick run over to the next terminal to see what all the excitement was about.  Once at the gate I noticed a few folks waving American flags and some carrying yellow roses so I figured it was something military related but still didn’t have much of a clue.  Fortunately the gate agent took care of that when he announced that the first passenger deplaning was a recipient of the Medal of Honor.  And the name was announced but I didn’t catch it.  I was too busy moving over to the end of the jetway to try to grab a photo.  I got this slightly blurry one and then had the opportunity to shake his hand and thank him for his service.  But I have absolutely no idea who he is.  There are only 94 living recipients right now so I think that I could probably track him down but I haven’t a chance to try yet.  Still a very cool moment for me.


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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. If you go to The Palm in Philly, there are several caricatures on the wall of MoH recipients. Many of them are still living and meet there for lunch every so often.

  2. Interestingly enough, this flight was arriving from Philly. I wonder what it is that makes Philly such a popular place for them to reside.

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