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Veterans Day

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On Friday, November 9, Southwest Airlines Employees gathered in front of our Headquarters building in Dallas, Texas, to honor two of our Fellow Employees who lost their lives while serving our country. Michael Fuga, Kansas City Provisioning Agent; and Charles Kitowski, Finance Ticketing Operations Analyst; were both killed while on active military duty in Afghanistan.

In honor of our two fallen heroes, we planted a live oak tree on the front lawn of our Headquarters campus. Beside the tree is a granite stone that reads ...

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In LUVing memory of our Fellow Employees who gave their lives while serving our country. Sgt. Charles B. Kitowski III, U. S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael T. Fuga, Army National Guard Dedicated Veterans Day 2007.

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Our President, Colleen Barrett, and our CEO, Gary Kelly, both spoke at the ceremony, which was concluded by a touching rendition of ”God Bless America” by Valerie La Grone. We were honored that the families of both Michael and Charles joined us for this touching tribute.

On this Veterans Day, we salute our Friends and Family who are serving, or who have served, in the military, and we honor those who have fought to ensure our freedom. We are so appreciative of the sacrifices these men and women have made, and we also honor their loved ones. Below is a video honoring one of these men, Charles Kitowski.
8 Comments
kikodelgado
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Yesterday I attended Church service with my family. It felt great to be back in America. The pastor asked all of the veterans to stand up. We stood up and bowed our heads in a moment of silence. I couldn't help but think about all of our troops that are still serving in harms way. They also showed us a video of War World II and all that those men had to endure. I want to again thank my friends at SOUTHWEST for your support while i was deployed overseas. Happy Veterans Day... USS VETERAN BLOG BOY
jim
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God bless every man and woman who is currently or has ever been a member of The United States Armed Forces. They are willing to die to defend my freedom. They go places they don't want to go, do things they don't want to do, all in order that I can enjoy the freedoms to go where I want to go, and do what I want to do. On November 11 each year, we stop to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifices for us - the fellow citizens that make up this country. And for each man or woman who has died serving , there are always parents, spouses, and/or children who mourn - with honor - their personal fallen hero. And we mourn with them. We shouldn't choose only one day out of 365 to honor those whose souls leave this earth early, we should say a prayer of thanks every single day for every man and woman who was willing to give their life - and did give their life - so that this great country can be great.
FriendofBlogBoy
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Brian, Thank you for providing us a place to put some comments about our Veterans. I can well remember growing up in the Sixties and feeling so sad that people's attitudes about veterans turned ugly as citizens vented their frustrations over our involvement in Vietnam back onto the troops returning home. I finally had a chance to start feeling better about public sentiment after the first Gulf War when Americans realized that regardless of their opinion about a military event, we MUST support our men and women in uniform. Although I am not a veteran myself, I have many friends who are, and have the utmost respect and admiration for what they've done for our country. (of course, this includes our friend Francisco - U. S. S. Blog Boy) I am extremely proud of my Dad's service in World War II, and have since learned that he was part of a secret unit within the Army whose actions have recently been declassified. War is not glorious or pretty, even in victory. However, having a strong military is important, and to me, an American citizen who volunteers to serve in the military is about as patriotic as you can get. I fly my flags on the outside of my home to tell folks that pass by that I am, as Lee Greenwood said so well, "proud to be an American", and that I am proud of our military. I salute each of you, Kim Red White and Blue External Blog Boy 🙂
jballard
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Let us never forget. It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag Who allows the protester to burn the flag. -Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC
FrancineJ_V_
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My mother, a proud Navy verteran, was laid to rest three days ago on November 9, 2007. She loved the time she spent serving her country and told us many wonderful stories of her travels and time served. We were very proud and honored to be presented with her flag. We now we have two flags as my father, also a veteran, passed a few years prior. We have had several familiy members who have served in all branches of the military. My cousin just returned from her third tour in Iraq. She is the youngest familiy member currently serving in the military and a mother of three. Her father ( and other cousins) served in Vietnam and her brother served in the Army. I would like to thank all of our wonderful and courageous service men and women who are serving our country throughout the world. I am privelaged and proud to be a not only an American but a Native Americanan and to live in this great free land, a land of my great forefathers who were great chiefs, warriors, healers and wisemen. I know I speak for my family, that we are proud to serve and protect our great nation. Thank you Southwest for allowing us to post messages on this special day which honors our veterans. May God bless us all. Just a post note: there has been controversy in the city Scottsdale over the display of a large American flag that has draped one of the buildings. I've heard it called an eye sore and a pimple on the face of the city. People say it doesn't fit in with the natural desert landscaping. I was fortunate to have a direct view of our country's flag from the third floor of my office. My staff and I were proud to look out and see our beautiful flag every day. We cringed and felt bad every time we heard people expressing negative comments about the flag. We would always respond positively letting the negative ones know that we loved our flag and were happy to look out of our windows and see it looking back at us. We couldn't help but feel patriotic with it there. I was reminded that our brothers and sisters are in a war 24/7, not just the 10 or 15 minutes we may see in a news report. I was suprised to find out how many objected to the large, and I mean large flag. I realize that they have their right to voice their opinion and all because we live in this free nation but how sad not to appreciate those in harms way fighting so we have the privlege to display our flag. How sad not to appreciate that people, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, etc have died or been mamed for life so we have the freedom to display our beautiful flag. Anyway, the objections prevailed and the flag has been removed. We sadly watched it taken down over the course of several days as large cranes had to be brought in to dismantle it. I look out now at a tan, sand colored plain-as-can-be cover that now drapes the building. There's no design, no texture, no desert scenery on it, nothing. I guess this is supposed to fit in with the surrounding desert. How sad to know that people are more pleased with looking at this piece of brown material instead of our precious flag. Humbly, Dr. V
Nancy_Elswick
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Brian: Sorry - this has nothing to do with Veteran's Day. PLEASE NOTE: There is a problem with "southwest.com" on AOL website. It is redirecting to . . .when attempting to reach southwest.com. This has been going on for a week. Strongly recommend that this is forwarded to your IT folks - as this is a tech problem with AOL. LUV Southwest!
blusk
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Nancy, Thanks for sharing your concern. I did check with our Technology folks, and this is the only instance we know of AOL users having a problem accessing southwest.com. They suspect that you may have either spyware or a virus on your computer, and they were afraid to even open the link you posted for fear it would contaminate our computers. That's why I deleted the link from your post. Brian
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Uh oh. I opened the link. D'oh! The non infected Ding! boy joe!