Nov 20 2010




He writes: My lead flight attendant came to me and said,

"We have an H.R. on this flight." (H.R. stands for human remains.)


"Are they military?" I  asked.  

'Yes',  she said. 

'Is there an escort?' I asked. 

'Yes, I already assigned him a seat'.  

'Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early," I said.  

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck.  He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier.  He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier.  The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.   

'My soldier is on his way back to Virginia,' he said.  He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no.  I told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the  work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers.  The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand.  He left the flight deck to find his seat. 

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure.  About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.  'I  just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board', she said.  She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home.  The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left.  We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia. 

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear.  He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival.  The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane.  I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do.


'I'm on  it', I said.  I told her that I would get back to her.  

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages.  I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.  There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher.  I was in direct contact with the dispatcher.  I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted.


He said he understood and that he would get back to me.   

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher.  We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family.  I sent a text message asking for an update.  I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text: 

"Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.  There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things.  Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.  The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side.  A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family.  The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp.  It is a private area for the family only.  When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home.  Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans.    Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks." 

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job.   I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father.  The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, 'You have no idea how much this will mean to them.' 

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and  landing.   After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area.  The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway.  It  is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit.  When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller,  we were told that all traffic was being held for us.  

'There is a team in place to meet the aircraft', we were told.  It looked like it was all coming  together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off,  everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane.  As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers.   He did that and the ramp controller said, 'Take your time.'   

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake.   I pushed the public address button and said,  'Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect.  His Name is  Private XXXXXX,  a soldier who recently lost his life.   Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold.  Escorting him today is Army Sergeant  XXXXXXX.   Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter.  Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.'  

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures.  A couple of  minutes later I opened the cockpit door.  I found the two forward flight attendants crying' something you just do not see.  I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft. 

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands.   Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping.  Words of 'God Bless You', "I'm sorry", "Thank you", "Be proud", and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane.  They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.  

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made.  They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again,  but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.  

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of AMERICA .  

Foot note: 

As a Veteran I can only think of all the Viet Nam veterans, including the ones that rode below the deck on their way home, and how they were treated.  When I read things like this I am proud that our country has not turned their backs on our soldiers returning from the various war zones today and give them the respect they so deserve. 
I know every one who has served their country who reads this will have tears in their eyes, including me.  

Prayer Request:  When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say this prayer for our troops around the world.

'Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.  Protect them as they protect us.  Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need.  Amen..' 

There is nothing attached.  Just send this to people in your address book.  Do not let it stop with you.  Of all the gifts you could give a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one. 





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Nov 17 2010


The God Diagnosis by Greg Viehman, MD. It's a great read! Reminded me so much of how everything changed for me when I realized who Jesus was and opened my heart to Him! Highly recommended!

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Nov 16 2010


Congratulations to Samira of Albuquerque! She heard the secret sound tonite (a jet plane) and was caller 10. Samira gets to take a friend to any Chris Tomlin concert she wants to see in the spring! A new secret sound is introduced by Lisa and Eric each morning. During the day, we'll play the secret sound twice. Be caller ten when you hear it, and you're our next winner!
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Nov 09 2010


My 5 year old grandson, Kaedyn, spent the nite with us last Saturday nite and he brought his school assignment with him.  A stuffed animal frog named Croaky! Came complete with several Croaky and his family books, a journal, and a backback to carry it all around.  The idea is to just have Croaky be part of your family for the weekend, and record your adventure in the journal, with pictures, and the teacher reads the new journal entry to the class on Monday! Well, we looked for Croaky's froggy friends in the backyard, Kaedyn took Croaky to church with him and us.  We even had Croaky audition for some announcing jobs!  He was a little nervous at first, but Kaedyn joined him and with headfones on, Kaedyn encouraged his new friend.  Papa (me) thinks Croaky has a shot at a new career when Kermit retires!

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Nov 02 2010


FYI – Don’t know if you’re in the loop, but we’re playing back the Kristian Stanfill interview tonight at 7pm PST (9pm CST). Tune in!


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Nov 02 2010

Kristian Stanfill Interview

Listen at 9pm CST (7pm PST) to my interview with new K-LOVE artist Kristian Stanfill!


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Nov 01 2010


New Six Step Records artist Kristian Stanfill stops by to talk with me about his new single, Day After Day, and his new album, Mountains Move, a little after 7pm pacific Tuesday! So, what is it like being on the same record label with Chris Tomlin and David Crowder? Kristian Stanfill, Tuesday Nov 2, 7pm hour, on K-LOVE!
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Oct 29 2010


My wife, Dean, and I, are reading a powerful book as part of our morning devotions.  It's called THE HIDDEN POWER OF PRAYER AND FASTING, by Mahesh Chavda.

If you are looking for away to turn defeat into victory in certain areas of your life, fasting and prayer can change everything.



















Fasting helps to:

1. Humble you.


2. Establish priorities


3. Work out areas of imbalance.

4. Make you really appreciate what you already have.


5. Show you what is most important




7. Bring


your areas of weakness and susceptibility to temptation to the surface so that God can deal with them.
Make you more sensitive to God's Spirit. (Ezra 8:21)
in your life.
(e.g. air, food, shelter, health, family, etc.)
in your life (what is really important.)
(Ps. 35:13)


There is plenty of info on fasting available on line.  I encourage you to find out more about this little talked about power we all have in Christ

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Oct 21 2010

The Home Stretch

Folks, we are in the final hours of the pledge drive. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, for praying for us, and for being part of this wonderful family! We are still short of our goal, but we still have some time left, and amazing things are happening...stay tuned!

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Oct 20 2010

$6k Challenge - Dollar for Dollar

We have a very generous supporter who's presented me and Lauren Lee with the chance to double your pledge this hour.  If we can get any pledge or gift up to $6,000, then it doubles.  This is the perfect time to get involved because your financial support will go that much further.  But wait, there's more.  How about we also add a monster prize pak?!  Yes, that's right.  Your pledge will qualify you to win CDs including Worship Again (Michael W. Smith), The Story of Your Life (Matthew West), The Altar and the Door (Casting Crowns), The Anatomy of Broken (Chris Sligh).  You can thank Lauren Lee for the prize pak.  She snuck into the K-LOVE prize closet, again, and grabbed 10 CDs to give away.  Call now.  There's a volunteer waiting to take your pledge. 1-800-525-5683 (LOVE), or simply give online.


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