Our team just returned from this week’s TMRE in Orlando. It was a great event, and we were thrilled with the opportunity to meet so many of the great thought leaders in our industry. We’ll be sharing insights from the conference in upcoming posts, but in honor of Veteran’s Day, instead we’d like to share a story of our trip home.

A few hours before we were scheduled to leave, we learned that our flight had been delayed – which would’ve meant another night away from home. So we scrambled to get to the airport to make an earlier flight, only to reach the security line at a standstill. Four lanes of TSA agents were funneling passengers into a single entrance to the actual security line. After our IDs had been checked, we literally stood in the same spot for over ten minutes. More and more passengers filed in around us and the space got smaller and smaller. Some managed to laugh it off and make jokes, but grumbling was heard in every direction … “this is ridiculous” … “what a mess” … along with various much more colorful ways of articulating frustration.

We finally made it to the actual structured line, but it still moved only at a crawl. As we continued to inch our way through the line, we heard a voice from the end of the line, “Hey guys, we got a soldier on leave and he is gonna miss his flight. Can we let him through?” Near the front of the line another passenger heard and stopped his portion of the line. The crowd parted and somehow found room for a clear path right to security. The soldier took the path, humbly thanking each of us as he passed. The crowd thanked him as well. One man patted his back and said, “Happy Veteran’s Day.” At that point, the tension cleared, and the mood completely changed. Maybe it made us all much more aware of the reasons for the security measures, or maybe it was just about giving a little something back to someone who has given so much for all of us. Either way, we were all proud to have been a part of it.


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    Quester is an award-winning consumer intelligence firm that harnesses the power of human conversation, artificial intelligence technology, and expert marketing research design to yield superior understanding of consumers for clients.