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Fri Nov 8, 2013, 11:50 AM

First-class passengers give up seats for Marines [View all]

Thirteen Marines returning from tours of duty in Afghanistan were treated to a hero's welcome at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. First they received a "water-cannon salute" which is a procedure where an aircraft taxis under arches of water sprayed from fire trucks. Then 6 of them were upgraded to first class which American Airlines does for servicemen and women traveling in uniform whenever seats are open.

AP says "that gesture was followed by seven first-class passengers who jumped out of their seats for the other Marines so they could sit together."

Linda Kozma, a military liaison for American, tells ABC 10 News of San Diego that those first-class fliers were quick to volunteer after she announced the presence of the service members over the gate-area public address system.

"People were very generous in getting up and approaching the agent, offering their seats up for upgrade to allow the Marines to all sit up front," Kozma tells then station.

"It was incredibly touching," Capt. Pravin Rajan said to AP in a telephone interview after returning to California's Camp Pendleton. "Afghanistan is a very complex and ambiguous war ... and a difficult thing to keep track of so it is amazing when we are 10 years (into) a war and there is still that kind of community, that level of support, the level of willingness to go out of one's way."

Full story here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/11/07/soldiers-get-heros-welcome-1st-class-upgrades-at-ohare/3464873/

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