Stories from our volunteers
From Volunteer: Jory Herman:
I was Navigating one morning when a passenger came up to me to ask for help checking in with Delta. It turned out he was on Spirit, not Delta. As we walked down to Spirit, I was reading his paperwork, and he arrived to the airport 30 days early! He was telling me he is from Israel & on a one year "around the world" vacation visiting friends. He just got out of the Israeli Army, and starts school next October. He was in Minnesota visiting a friend that goes to school in St. Cloud. He was heading to Atlanta, and the friend in Atlanta booked the ticket. His English was OK, his native language was Hebrew. We went to the Spirit counter, and the agent started to look it up. I explained to the agent the situation & problem, and this Spirit agent then started talking to him in Hebrew! She told him there was plenty of room on the Spirit flight to Atlanta, and that it wasn't a problem, just had to pay a small fee to switch. The agent just happened to be here for three weeks from Tampa, helping out with staffing issues at MSP. After she got him checked in, baggage tagged and sent down, she told both of us that "it was meant to be!" I took him through security and to the gate, with a stop at Caribou. He thanked me and told me "although this place is the coldest I have ever been, the people are some of the nicest I have ever met".
From Volunteer: Norm Spilleth
I was working as a go guide one day when I got a call from Central. A Delta gate agent requested assistance with two visually impaired people at Gate B9. I was in the international area on G7 when the call came in, quite a distance from the B concourse, but I gave it a try. The passengers that needed assistance were Matt and Marge, both profoundly blind and with only thirty minutes to make their connection at G15. After I introduced myself, Matt told me that he and Margie had no problems with escalators or moving walkways, just keep talking so he can locate me and don’t waste time waiting for elevators. So, off we went, retracing the route I took to find them, talking all the way. And what a story he had! Matt and Margie had been married over 30 years and were on their way to a family reunion. Matt had been a gunner’s mate in the Navy on a destroyer in the Pacific back in the 70’s. One day a 15 inch deck gun blew up grievously wounding him and his crew. They survived, but Matt and another crewman were blinded. Margie had been born blind and met Matt when he was learning how to live without sight. He told me that just because a person is blind didn’t mean he couldn’t have a home and family, or job, or travel. Nothing stopped him or Marge from enjoying life. We made the airline connection just as the aircraft was boarding but I was the one who made a greater connection when I met “Matt and Margie.”
From Volunteer: Margaret Wall
One of my Go-Guide assignments was to help a special needs man named Peter transfer from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2. He was excited to ride the tram and the sheer joy in his face when he rode the escalator down to the light rail was awesome, but nothing topped the excitement at being able to ride the light rail. I used his ipad to take a photo of him with the train coming in behind him. He liked the picture so much he was showing it to other passengers. Of course we had to take a picture of him with a plane in the background to round out his adventure.