Gold STAR parent BLOG


Going thru the TSA x-ray screening at DFW for a flight to South Dakota got my suitcase pulled over for inspection. We had packed the usual; clothes, hairdryer, toiletries, razors, power supplies, battery packs and charging cords, so I really wasn't that surprised...until the TSA agent pulled out the six books I had packed.

The x-ray operator apparently couldn’t identify what a book x-ray looked like.
Do so few people carry books anymore that a person under 30 years of age can’t tell what one looks like?
Was he so used to seeing electronic devices that a few paperback books caught him off guard?
Yes. Apparently so.
Have you ever caught yourself missing parts of your routine daily commute? You cross some railroad tracks or pass a landmark and suddenly realize you don’t remember the last three or four blocks?
We get into a daily routine so commonplace that our minds wander and focus on other plans or problems. Our eyes are on the road, but our minds are “a million miles away.”
We get so used to seeing some things on a regular basis that they become invisible to us, and when something extraordinary crosses our path it causes us to do a double-take.
My family didn’t travel much when I was growing up, and we certainly couldn’t afford airfare. Air travel was as exotic to me then as the Amazon Jungle.
Now I can zip through security checkpoints (usually,) grab some coffee, board the plane, and stash my luggage without even having to think about it.
I see some of our same friends regularly on these trips. I get used to seeing them often and vice-versa. They cannot tell just by looking at me what my frame of mind is at that particular time. They can’t x-ray me, and unless they’re particularly cognizant or have seen a recent social media post, they can’t tell what luggage I’m packing on that particular day.
Good friends ask you how you are. Great friends can tell how you are by just looking at you. They can see the unusual heaviness in your eyes if you’re struggling with something and they can see the sparkle when you’re having a good day.
We get used to seeing some friends and family every day. We may miss an unusual sign of trouble simply because we’re in our routine.
Don’t get caught off guard by a sudden change in someone you know and love.
I used to be called a “bookworm” because I usually had my head stuck in a book. These days it’s electronics that have me distracted. I’m actually typing this on my phone while we’re flying over Kansas and Nebraska.
I’m going to start putting my friends and family through my ‘x-ray’ to see if I notice anything out of the ordinary. So, if I pull you off your daily conveyor-belt and start asking you about your ‘luggage,’ it’s only because I love you and care about you.

No boarding-pass needed.



This website When Our Blue Star Turned Gold tells SSG Bryan Burgess’ story and to honor his sacrifice while helping other Gold Star families navigate their own journeys and inspire them to tell their stories so others will understand and appreciate the true cost of freedom. 

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