As a crowded airliner is about to takeoff, the peace is suddenly shattered by a 5-year-old boy who picks that moment to throw a wild temper tantrum.
No matter what his frustrated, embarrassed mother does to try to calm him down, the boy continues to scream furiously and kick the seats around him.
Suddenly, from the rear of the plane, an older man in the uniform of a U.S. Air Force general begins to make his way up the aisle. Stopping the frustrated mother's upraised hand, the white haired, courtly, soft-spoken general leans down and, motioning toward his collar, whispers something into the boy's ear.
Instantly, the boy calms down, quietly fastens his seat belt, and gently takes his mother's hand. All the other passengers burst into spontaneous applause.
As the general slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin attendants touches his sleeve.
"Excuse me, general", she asks quietly, "could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?"
The general smiles serenely and gently confides, "I showed him my pilot's wings, service stripes, and battle ribbons, and then explained to him that they entitle me to throw one passenger out of the plane door on any flight I choose."
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