CALLING ALL READERS!
My husband, my children and I were sitting at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport awaiting our flight home when this man dressed in an Army uniform stopped to get something to eat. It struck us that our country asks so much of these servicemen [and women] yet pays them so little. So we urged my ?husband to go up and offer to pay for the man’s meal and tell him how much we appreciate his service to our country. The man was so appreciative. He said no one else had offered him any help and that he was returning from Afghanistan. He then tore off his International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) patch and gave it to our family! Of course my daughters and I had to get out the Kleenex … what a truly memorable moment.

We called this our “Operation Grandma Sally” (“Editor’s Note,” May 15) and will continue to do these acts of kindness anytime we are at an airport, just small acts for those who keep us safe.
Lorri Briggs, Parkland, Fla.

Editor Adam Pitluk responds
: Lorri, you and your family are truly the types of ?Americans/humans I’m trying to raise my kids to be like. The next time I’m at the airport (which is usually weekly), I’m going to do the same thing for a soldier. I call on American Way readers to follow suit.

WORLD OF LOVE
The Editor’s Note “Send Your Kids to Europe” (June 1) struck a nostalgic chord for me. My family sent me on a oneworld around-the-world trip, with Europe on the itinerary. I had planned to travel around Europe, but when I met someone special, those plans went out the window, and I was glad for the flexibility of an around-the-world ticket. I met my now-boyfriend in the Netherlands and decided to stay as long as my visa would allow me.

I’m starting graduate school in the Netherlands soon. Now that our lives are aligned, we’re looking forward to flying American to the U.S. this summer, knowing we’ll be coming back together and have American Airlines to connect us to our family around the world. Parents, listen to Adam Pitluk: Send your kids to Europe!
Brett Elizabeth Ory, Dallas

A.P. responds: I think we all find something interesting, something special on the road. I had an awakening of sorts in that I realized that there is a big, beautiful world out there and that I want to explore it. You found love, perhaps the hardest thing of all to find. I hope others take our advice and head to Europe as well.

THE CONNECTION
I used to be a frequent-flier while in the U.S. Air Force. Now that I am retired, I have ?resorted to flying only once or twice per year. I truly enjoy flying on AA flights because the staff is polite and friendly. I have to give them credit for all of their efforts. I want to express this because I am a wounded Iraqi veteran and have to use a cane to walk. It’s really difficult to get around while flying. Every time I have flown, they have made my flight comfortable and worry free, and I want to say thank you to the unsung heroes who make flying AA a pleasant experience.

I also enjoy reading American Way. I took pleasure in reading the article about Kyra Sedgwick (“The Bright Side,” June 1) and finding out about her little secret. But the secret did not capture my attention as much as the photos of her did. The really neat thing was the fact that the photos brought out different aspects of her beauty and finesse that I had not recognized before. From my perspective, she made The Closer fun and enjoyable to watch. She has shown us that she is a person who has feelings and little secret habits like everyone else does. I am really going to miss her on The Closer, and I look forward to finding out what’s next for her in TV land.
Scott Weatherly, Florence, Ala.

Design Director David W. Radabaugh responds: Thank you for your service to our country. I have the privilege of reviewing hundreds of celebrity portraits each month, and I can tell you that the range of talent and depth of emotion exhibited by Kyra Sedgwick and the other personalities we feature in American Way is truly inspiring. It’s hard not to feel a connection to people who are so willing to make themselves vulnerable.

A MUSICIAN’S SUCCESS
The June 1 interviews of budding country star Jason Aldean (“Itinerary”) and the veteran hip-hop crew the Beastie Boys (“Rhymin’ & Stealin’ ”) were great to read together. Besides being useful to drown out the low, persistent hum of airline engines, musicians help express deep life concerns. And these stories of making it speak to two common anxieties: wanting to win fame and approval from everyone, as well as being not quite sure that their approval is worth winning.

I have lived in Nashville for over six years, and I can appreciate the strong urge to succeed, to battle even after falling so many times. And when you do make it, you’re never sure you’ve done it. Even when you play with legends, as Aldean did, that’s not confirmation? enough. You still feel like an imposter and that you may not deserve all of the attention.

With the Beastie Boys, it’s the opposite: Gaining about as much fame as you can achieve in the music world, they are haunted by their success. But their cheeky playfulness, brought out so well in the article, may not be that different from Jason’s modesty but only the other half of the anxiety of making it.
Mark Peter, Nashville, Tenn.

A.P. responds: It was no accident that we ran the Jason Aldean story in the same issue as the Beastie Boys feature. Although a subtle move, we were going for the Jungian duality of man — or duality of music, as it were.