As I was waiting for my suitcase at the airport Saturday night, I heard an announcement over the intercom: "If anyone is traveling to the nearby Army post, we have a soldier here at the USO who could use a ride."
I admit I hesitated for a second. I would be driving, alone, for an hour and a half, at midnight. It didn't seem like a bright idea to give a complete stranger a ride.
But I did it anyway...because soldiers aren't strangers.
This guy was a good kid, right out of AIT and reporting at his first duty station. Unfortunately, he was at the wrong airport and didn't have a clue where he should go to report. He joked several times in the car that I knew more about the Army than he does. But he was a good guy, a nice car companion for a long drive at the end of a long day of travel, and a member of my military family.
We got him squared away (I hope) on post, and I've been thinking about him the past few days and hoping that he's making a smooth transition. I also told him to tell his wife about SpouseBUZZ, since she's still back in his hometown with their kids, far from anyone else living the military life. I hope she checks in on us here and finds some comfort in our community.
This soldier thanked me many times for the ride, and I smiled and told him that, while I don't normally give rides to people I don't know, he's Army and therefore he's family.
We have to take care of each other.