I frequently fly through Bangor, Maine. It has the longest runway in the furthest Northeast corner of the United States for launching transatlantic flights, and has U.S. Customs for processing those returning to America. For those reasons, and a few more, it is a popular tech stop on the way to or from Europe for flights carrying U.S. military personnel.
One other thing makes stopping in Bangor a unique experience when carrying military personnel: the Troop Greeters. Years ago, a small group of people got together and decided they would show up for every military flight transiting Bangor to greet the troops going off to war or coming home home from it. In the time since they began that operation, they have become well loved by the troops, the airport, the people in Bangor, and pretty much anyone else they come in contact with.
This year, a documentary film was released about the troop greeters. It’s called The Way We Get By. While it covers what they do, it also digs into who they are and the personal challenges they face. I have not seen the film yet, but I’ve read about it and watched the trailer. And, of course, I’ve seen the troop greeters in action on countless occasions.
Check out the movie's website here. If it’s playing near you, go see it and let me know what you think. Hopefully I’ll get to see it soon, maybe when it comes to Boston at the end of August.