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The staff of American Way dedicates this July 1 edition of “Air Mail” to the men and women of our armed forces. Thank you for your service and your sacrifices. Happy July 4th.

GOD BLESS THE U.S. MARINES
A family friend lost his son, who was serving in Afghanistan. Lance Cpl. Nickolas A. ?Daniels was killed after only a few short weeks on the ground. He was just 25 years old and had a great life ahead of him.

Nick came from an amazing family. His father, Greg, is an American Airlines aircraft mechanic in Chicago. I don’t think anyone can imagine the grief that comes from losing a child, especially in war. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming.

American Airlines had a memorial set up in Terminal 3 at O’Hare International ?Airport to honor Nick on behalf of Greg ?Daniels. I was lucky enough to be traveling at the time and saw it. The Daniels family was deeply touched by this classy gesture.
Colleen McNamara, Chicago

Editor Adam Pitluk responds:
And we are deeply touched and forever indebted to Lance Cpl. Daniels for his service.

100,000 AAdvantage miles for your thoughts.

We enjoy hearing what you think about the magazine — so much so that if your letter to the editor is published in a 2011 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 100,000 AAdvantage? miles. Want a chance at the miles? Simply ?e-mail your thoughts to us at ?editor@americanwaymag.com.


HIGH PRIORITY
I’ve seen so many courtesies extended to ?active-duty personnel spanning many dec?ades, and I have had many personal experiences that have endeared me to American Airlines. Even on my recent flight, military personnel were given PriorityAAccess boarding. It just seems like part of the airline’s culture to treat them like VIPs.
Henry J. “Hank” Donigan, USMC (Ret.), Fallbrook, Calif.

A.P. responds:
Thank you, Hank. American Airlines and American Way honor our servicemen and women all the time. And we’ll continue to do so. You make the press free!

AROUND THE WORLD
Having served in the military now for 25 years, I have flown all over the world. American Airlines accommodates the unusual situations that military service sometimes demands. Yet time and time again, AA always seems to get it done for us. Thank you for what you do for us. We certainly appreciate the hospitality and sincere concern.
Sgt. Maj. Richard Prater, Fort Bragg, N.C.

A.P. responds:
It is we who should be thanking you for your career serving our country and keeping us safe. On behalf of the staff of ?American Way, I salute you.

NOTHING CAN COMPARE
It had been seven months since I had a chance to actually be with my wife. Military training has taken me all across the country, but it is always taking me farther away from her. I had been saving money for three months, and I finally had enough to take a flight to see her — or so I thought. I searched every airline, and none of them could help me. I was about to call my wife and let her know the bad news, but an offer from American Airlines showed up on my screen. It fit my budget perfectly, and I was able to go see my wife, Hannah. It’s all thanks to the wonderful people at American Airlines who are trying to look out for the little guy.
Spc. Raphael Pizeno, Beaufort, S.C.

Project Coordinator Betsy L. Semple responds: I always love to hear about the moments of perfect timing in our lives, especially when it allows you to reconnect with a loved one.

RED, WHITE AND BLUE
I just wanted to say that I appreciate the way American Airlines treats me and the members of the military when we fly. I really appreciate the PriorityAAccess boarding, the acknowledgment the crews always give when we are onboard in uniform and the free access to the Admirals Clubs when we are on R and R from Afghanistan. I really feel appreciated. Whenever I am coming home from a deployment and I get on an American Airlines aircraft with the red, white and blue colors, I feel halfway home.
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David G. Snyder, Williamsburg, Va.

A.P. responds: It’s our honor to bring you and your fellow troops all the way back home.

PATRIOTIC UPGRADE
I upgraded myself on a business trip to Atlanta. I was joined by a soldier whom the crew had upgraded. Since I know very little about the career of an army man, I couldn’t help but strike up a conversation. I learned so much about this young man’s sacrifice and commitment to our country. I was inspired. I had him make a list of everything that I could donate to his platoon. I thought of my son, hoping he grows up to be as brave. From pistachios to beach towels and from protein shakes to multivitamins, I am giving my time and extra income to Pfc. Delano ?Stewart and his crew for their service, their commitment and their humility. It’s the least I can do. It’s the least we can all do.

If your readers want to help this amazing young soldier and his platoon, please send packages via the USPS to:
PFC Stewart, Delano
E.CO 1-82 T F Wolf Pack
FOB Salerno
APO, AE 09314
Robin Wells, Coral Gables, Fla.

Managing Editor Travis Kinsey responds: What a truly inspirational note, Robin. If everyone gave back to our men and women in uniform as robustly and enthusiastically as you are, they would never be wanting for the love and admiration they so richly deserve. I do my best to give thanks to soldiers I see on my travels, but you have gone above and beyond. Bravo!