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A True Veterans Day Story

Following a series of meetings at the Big Brothers Big Sisters national office in Dallas, Carlos Lejnieks, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties, was headed back to Newark, N.J. this Veterans Day weekend. Carlos and his fellow passengers were travelling in unique company.

A flight attendant announced that among the passengers on the flight sat five soldiers en route home following a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. They were returning to their families and loved ones.

Carlos learned early on in the flight that his seatmate was one of the five. They talked the entire time; about the soldier’s 12 years of military service; about his six month tour in Afghanistan and his previous tour to Iraq; and about his young son, whom he had only met briefly at his birth.

After landing, Carlos got off the plane before the soldier, so he had a perfect view of the young wife and child, eagerly waiting for their soldier to get off the plane. He had a perfect view of the soldier breaking into a run, past everyone else, as he reunited with his family.

Carlos could not have asked for a more fitting way to enter into the Veterans Day weekend. He said, “It was a sincere honor to bear witness to his homecoming...such a powerful moment!”

Carlos’ story was picked up by Fox News Latino: A Singular Landing On the Meaning of Veterans Day Weekend by Carlos Lejnieks

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