Fourteen Marines on their way home from serving in Afghanistan were upgraded to first class on their flight from Chicago to San Diego.
The Marines learned that American Airlines – which has a policy to upgrade servicemen and women in uniform whenever possible – had six empty seats in first class for the group. That gesture was followed by seven first-class passengers who jumped out of their seats for the other Marines so they could sit together.
“It was incredibly touching,” Capt. Pravin Rajan said in a telephone interview from Camp Pendleton in California. “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“