It is Veterans Day in the United States and a day of remembrance marking the end of World War I in many nations the world. This day is also a reminder that public service is the lifeblood of a nation and something that all of us can participate in, wherever we find ourselves. Sometimes, that service is as simple as recognition of others for their service.
United Airlines Honors Veteran Ramp Worker
Larry Ferrarini is a dual veteran. He’s a U.S. Army veteran who served his country in the Vietnam War. He’s also a 51-year United veteran, serving as a ramp worker in Chicago. His colleagues speak highly of him and Ferrarini himself links the cohesion of his colleagues at O’Hare Airport with the sort of cohesion he experienced in his Army unit.
To honor his service, United repainted a baggage tractor in camouflage and placed the U.S. Army emblem on the hood. This now serves as Ferrarini’s exclusive vehicle at ORD.
Larry, thank you for you service.
The manner in which Ferrarini was honored by co-workers presents a blueprint for how each of us, in our own spheres of influence, can honor service and help build a better nation. Not everyone will serve in the military, but many will serve their neighbors, towns, states, or country in ways that help build a better nation.
Giving honor to those who have sacrificed is not merely an exercise in flattery, but a genuine act of thanksgiving that also serves as a motivator to step up your own game. It is itself service.
We honor veterans not because they are superhuman, but because they are super humans, a descriptor I apply to all those who pour out their blood, sweat, and tears into helping others.
Thank you to every veteran who has sacrificed for the cause of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. But let us not just honor them, but emulate their qualities of humility, sacrifice, and service that are essential in preserving and strengthening a nation. That starts with being thankful. Where it ends is only up to our imagination and our diligent labor.
This is a great and uplifting story! Thanks for sharing. My parents both served during WW II. My father was US Army infantry, passing across the beaches of Normandy and then marching on to Paris. He described the French families that lined the roads and cheered them on. And my mother was a Cryptographic Watch Officer for the US Navy in Washington, DC. She oversaw the decoding and distribution of secret communications from the pacific theatre of war. They each chose to upend and risk their lives on behalf of their country. My gratitude is overwhelming.
Bravo David to your parents. Thank you for sharing this lovely story. Your parents must have been an amazing example to you. When I was in high school, I used to arrive very early, about 6.30 or 7.00 am. Our librarian was an older gentleman who walked with a very pronounced limp and even more pronounced smile. On Dec 7, 1999, i was in the library, early, helping him put the newspapers out. He asked me how old was I. I said 17 and a half, sir. I said I was the same age, on Dec 7, 1941 and then 8 months later, I was on Guadalcanal. He didn’t say anything else and just walked quietly away. Took my breath away then as it does now when I write this post. A salute to your parents.
Matthew, thank you for your service.
Great story and a great contribution by his coworkers. I worked for United at ORD for over 10 years in the 70s/80s and while I didn’t know Larry, I’m glad his coworkers thought so much of him to offer this tribute. Thank you for your service Larry.
The reader who was the first to respond to this wonderful story is obviously a proud and good son.
A tremendous article, thank you Matt!
Nice story. However, some wouldn’t be so happy to be reminded of their horrible experience in combat or the Army (although more likely, Navy veterans have bad experiences from senior ranks). Maybe more likely to be appropriate is the “Thank You for Your Service” and then the US flag, not the US Army seal. Or if he has good memories of his unit, maybe a “1” as in Big Red One / First Infantry Division and a “Thank You for Your Service”
There is nothing glorious about war itself, only the sacrifice that service to country, especially in a post-draft era, represents.
I’ve been a pilot for United for 35 years. For my 35th Anniversary they sent me a single piece of paper saying congratulations for 35 years of service. Oh goodie
You must have not influenced anyone with your skills and attitude.
This is all pablum started by the Republicans to show themselves as caring for those sent out to fight. I would argue that an individual paying his share of taxes and helping his or her fellow citizens is making as big a contribution as any soldier.
Soldiers go to war when politicans fail. The US, post the Korean War has started its own fights for its own reasons. Unlike in years past when the burden of war fighting fell on citizens across social strata, today it is the lower middle class who bears this burden.
Dont start unwinnable wars, defund the VA, and then go on this BS about honouring you for your service.
“today it is the lower middle class who bears this burden.”
Which is why we need to keep a large portion of the population under our heels.
I have said it before but we need a war in middle east. All these bored teenagers need to be kept occupied blowing themselves up and others instead of acting like MAGAots in the US and it also increases the price of oil.
Defund the VA? That’s terrible! No, the VA should be funded on par with what other hospitals survive on.
War is not always because of failed politicians. Look at Kuwait. Just mindin’ their own business when Saddam invaded. The rest of the world asked Saddam to withdraw but he refused.
Look at France in 1940. Germany just overran them.
Look at North Korea. They almost overwhelmed the South Koreans, US, Australia, Turkey and other UN forces at the start of the Korean War.
Look at Afghanistan. Let them flatten the 1 World Trade Center and 2 World Trade Center as well as the part of the Pentagon. 7 World Trade Center as well the the hotel next to the WTC? No! The War in Afghanistan started because of 9/11.
Derek, you’re misreading part of his post.
What he was saying don’t start unwinnable wars, don’t defund the VA and then say you honor our veterans.
And the leech asked ‘but what was in it for them’ and the crowd went wild, for they did not realize he really mocked them but they knew he looked like them, so his piss also seemed like wine to them.
I don’t think we can ever do enough to make it up to Vietnam vets. Most of them were sent against their will, as draftees/conscripts, lived/fought in terrible conditions, exposed to drugs/chemicals. And when they returned home, treated as murderous pariahs by half the population and ‘losers’ by the other half. The treatment they got was shameful, so I’m pleased to see any program of recognition such as this.
I work in ORD on the ramp at United and I have never met or seen Larry in 15 years that I’ve been here !
And at 51 years at United … he should retire … doesn’t he have grandkids or even great grandkids to enjoy his time with ??
You must not be worthy enough to have had the honor to have met him.
This is a tribute to our military veterans from YOUR company and there is no need to disrespect.
The draft ended in 1975, 46 years ago. Anyone who entered military service after that date did so voluntarily and most were able to choose a career field which appealed to them and matched their abilities. Some applied to join a branch of our military out of a sense of patriotism. Most joined to avoid being unemployed or for the educational benefits. To celebrate veteran’s day and not celebrate other professions is disingenuous. A teacher is far more valuable than a soldier. A bus driver accomplishes far more each day than a soldier. Where is their day of recognition?
And before insulting me with your responses, please know that I served in the US Air Force from 1968-1976.
I tend to agree. But this is Veterans Day.
I, for one, never stop thanking our teachers as well when given the opportunity. One does not outshine the other. All should be thanked when the opportunity arises.
Thank you for your service, David.
Wait? This isn’t about how UA-NYC and TPG “thank” workers?
Seriously, go fck yourself you rapidly mentally/physically deteriorating twat…enjoy the twilight years of your boring, pathetic Florida life
Thinking I’ll live longer than you buddy. Odds and dollars are in my favor.
Always open to Matt determining the fair wager and holding the cash.
Let’s go big man! Stop hiding behind an anonymous internet ID.
You seem angry with your responses.
Laughing at guys like UA-NYC thinking they are special flying around the country on a companies dime. Thinking they have any incite into how it works, making up to $125,000 a year while living in NY. The guys is exactly what airlines want while being a tool of the system. Buying an overpriced home while putting a few extra dollars into a 401k mutual fund with a company match thinking he is beating the system.
As offered before if Matt can prove who this UA guy is to my attorneys satisfaction I’ll put $25,000 up to a charity of Matt’s choosing against UA’s $25,000. This guy has slandered me multiple times so let’s settle it for charity.
Simple challenge, $50k for charity and if UA won’t comply I’ll donate to $5,000 to Matt’s charity if he exposes who UA is if he won’t won’t match the $25k. My name and personal info is fair game along with UA’s when we both contribute the 25k. All open to negotiating against the slander UA has done against me and other contributors here.
Let’s do it UA for charity.
I have no idea what either of you are bickering about. Nor do I care. But I do want to point out that the correct grammar, given the possessive, would be, “a company’s dime.” Unless of course UA-NYC works for multiple companies, in which case you should alleviate the, “A” and add an “s” to “dime.” Now, if UA-NYC does work for multiple companies and taking their dime(s), as you allude to, he just might be up for your challenge. But be aware that I have heard Joe Chivas handles all of the charitable work for Live and Let Fly.
“Either” is singular in way you just used it. Thus, you should have said, “I have no idea what either of you IS bickering about.”
Conscription is slavery. Socialism is mutual slavery.
Don’t bring me into your arguments. I was just having fun!
Yes, play the supercilious grammar cop while making grammar errors. This isn’t the first time you’ve made such errors. It is akin to the folx who are completely innumerate and ignorant of the most basic principles of science while constantly bleating “follow the science.”
You have no “incite” as you are a bloody imbecile who doesn’t have an effing clue…$125K was a nice salary 15 or so years ago.
Seriously, just go rot away in your second hand cart & 2nd floor condo in The Villages.
A lovely tribute, Matthew. Thanks for sharing this. And Happy Veterans Day with the utmost gratitude to all who served our country.
Terms of challenge to the person posting under “UA-NYC” on this forum. As this poster has insulted multiple members under cover of an anonymous poster I issue this charity challenge to him.
Matt the forum owner can easily verify my email address is legitimate and contact me to verify my personal information as he would like. I would believe he can do the same with person posting as UA-NYC.
I challenge this individual to a $50,000 charity donation to St Jude’s of $25,000 each. The details are in Matt’s hands but it will be easy to determine if UA is willing to step up and help children in need.
UA-CCP doesn’t just insult other commenters and spew vitriol, he actively wishes death upon them. That being said, this sort of contest is rather silly.
I’m sure people are rushing to the defense of an anti-vaxxing idiot who thinks the Civil Rights Act is just a bridge too far (“can’t go defending those non-white folks now!”)
You parents must be…really not proud of you.
UA-CCP is too addle-brained to understand the difference between a libertarian who cares about the proper relationship between a state and individuals and a low-information MAGA cultist. People can oppose the same things for different reasons? Imagine that!
As for the Civil Rights Act, it has the words “civil rights” in it so it must be good, amirite? Just like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must be a nice country. What do progressives care about property rights, though? There will be no private property in the utopia Xi will bring forth, comrade.
Here is just one learned opinion on the matter:
UA-CCP has so much hate. It is a literal hate crime. All hate, all the time. White supremacy in action.