Interesting Encounter at the Airport

by Steve Ray on May 5, 2018

My granddaughter Bella asked, “Nana, does Grandpa live at the airport?” she replied, “Kind of, yes.” (posting again since it was such a great story)

Being in airports I keep my antennas up for interesting people and ways to witness for Christ. If I see a priest in collar or a nun in habit I drop my luggage, run over and thank them profusely for serving the Church.

I do the same for military personnel. Today I saw an elderly black man hobbling to a seat in the airport. My antennas picked up on his hat which looked like it might be a military commemorative “ball cap.”

20120626-135414.jpgI got up and walked over. I said, “Hello sir. Does that hat say you served our military?” For the next ten minutes Janet and I heard a remarkable story.

Eighty-seven year old George Taylor was on his way to Washington to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for serving as a Marine in the Pacific arena in WWII. He was in the FIRST Black Marine Corps.

He told us how tough it was in racist America at the time and he recounted stories of their times in war. I announced to everyone sitting nearby that they were in the presence of a hero.

20120626-135441.jpg(Hat says “1942-1947, Congressional Gold Medal) Beyond his military service he worked hard afterwards, even though he only had an 8th grade education. He worked his way up until he eventually built a house next to the mayor and all of his kids have impressive degrees with enviable careers. He is a genuine American success story.

Before I left I said, “I bet you are a Christian too, aren’t you?” he responded, “Yes sir, and I go to church.” he smiled when I told him I’d put his story and pictures on my website – and watch to see him on the news.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tona Karrick June 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I LOVE this, Steve!!!!!

chris June 26, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Great story! Thank you for sharing it with us.

theresa in Alberta June 28, 2012 at 7:28 AM

These kind of encounters give me hope!!
Steve, maybe your next book could be about all the people you have encountered in airports and the seeds you have planted.

Corey June 28, 2012 at 7:34 AM

I certainly don’t want to take away from the soldiers of today as they are all heroes in my book. But one cannot find many better witnesses to the Christian ideal than those who were willing to sacrifice their lives for a country that – at the time – collectively viewed them as less than human and had a great number of citizens who hated them. It is much easier to sacrifice for those who love you in return, much harder to do it for those that do not.

As a white American, I just want to say thank you to all those who were once persecuted because of the color of their skin who still thought this country was worth dying for regardless of what evils some of its members perpetrated in the past. A lesson for those of us in the Catholic Church today. We are not defined by the actions of a few but by the greater cause of our existence and guided by the Truth.

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