While traveling from Chicago back home to California, Phil Waterford had a layover in Denver, Colorado. There were weather delays that impacted flights out of Denver with long lines and many frustrated people.
He noticed a young lady at the end of the line in her military uniform holding a small child. Waterford stepped out of the line and approached this military person to thank her for her sacrifice and service of our great Nation. She expressed that she is on leave and will be deployed again in 10 days. This line had approximately 80 people that were in front of her as the cattle call waited for the three agents that were assisting passengers with their flights and hotel accommodations. Without thinking much about this, he took a chance and went to the front of the line to make an announcement:
"We have a member of the armed forces who fights for the freedoms that we enjoy every day with child, would anyone object to her coming to the front?" The person in front of the line welcomed this military soldier to go next as the rest of the passengers applauded her for her sacrifice and service. This was a very emotional moment not only for Waterford but everyone who witnessed this wonderful act of kindness. Moments like this makes Waterford proud to be an American.
"I believe that we all have a responsibility to honor our veterans and all military personnel,” Waterford said.
With permission from the City of Manteca, Waterford plans to have the accompanying "Eagle Heart" painted as a mural with a light that will always illuminate the mural on Manteca Ford’s Service Department building that faces Main Street. The artist, Jessie Marinas, is a Manteca resident that has been honored nationally for his paintings and murals.