Rich Galen

A couple of weeks ago I was on a flight from somewhere to somewhere else and a guy got on the plane with his wife and small son. He told the flight attendant that he had a first class seat, but wanted to sit in the back with his family.

As it happened, a young man in uniform was immediately behind him and I said, "Why don't you give this young man your first class seat, take his seat in the back, and then swap around so you can sit together?"

He did and, sure enough, a young woman in uniform came aboard and the person across the aisle from me said, "Here. Take my seat. I'll take yours in the back."

Everyone in first class - including (I know this is hard to believe) me - began gathering their things to give their seats to anyone in uniform who was traveling to or from the war zone.

As it happened there was another empty seat in first and no other military personnel came aboard; but the point remains: Just about every snotty first class traveler was willing to give up his or her seat for some young person in uniform.

That would not have happened in the 60s, because 40 years ago military personnel were urged (or ordered) not to appear in public in uniform. In America.

End Sidebar

Those who are rushing to condemn the President's plan are putting themselves in great political peril because they need the President's plan to fail for them to be correct.

I don't know if the President's plan will work because I am not a military specialist. I am a political specialist and I DO know that politicians who root for America to fail are buying a ticket to retirement.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at