In November 2003, Master Sergeant Kelly Bolor was killed in Mosul, Iraq, a town that has witnessed much tragedy, when his UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter malfunctioned. A world away, his son Kyle was getting ready to celebrate his second birthday.
Fast forward to ten years, and I become part of the story with a call from Laura Herzog , founder of the organization Honoring Our Fallen. Laura called Customer Relations recently, and as a Customer Relations Representative, I was the lucky one to answer her phone call. Honoring Our Fallen is an organization that takes an active role in supporting and participating in annual public and family remembrances for our nation’s fallen heroes, along with providing programs and services that support families during the cycles of grief.
Kyle and his brave father were avid basketball fans, and Laura was on a mission to fulfill a dream trip for Kyle and his family. She had already secured court-side seats to a Sacramento Kings game along with arranging for Kyle to be the Guest of Honor complete with a special ceremony during halftime to recognize his father for paying the ultimate sacrifice. Now all Laura needed was help getting Kyle and his family from Burbank to Sacramento, so she reached out to the airline with heart—Southwest—to complete the dream.
As a Veteran, I felt compelled to help. Once I shared the story with my Leaders, they agreed that this was a wonderful opportunity to help the Bolor family by providing travel to the game.
In typical Southwest style, our Employees in Burbank really made this a special moment for Kyle and his mom. Team Burbank let everyone in the gate area know they had a very special Customer and they welcomed him with open arms to thunderous applause.
Kyle made it to Sacramento and to his courtside seats for the Kings game where they honored Kyle’s father and his family. Though his father died serving his country, he certainly lives on through Kyle. If the smile on Kyle’s face is any indication of the type of man Master Sergeant Bolor was, I can say with conviction that he was amazing.
I’m grateful for organizations like Honoring Our Fallen that are dedicated to lifting up our Military Heroes and their families. After Kyle’s trip, Laura shared with me that she will never forget the feeling in her heart when she heard that Southwest was able to provide travel for Kyle and his family. She said that Southwest went far above and beyond anything she could have imagined. And, this is why I’m so proud to work for Southwest—a Company that gives from the heart.