At Southwest Airlines, we take pride in caring not only for our Employees who have served in the military but our Customers and their families as well. In light of the season of giving, family, and gratitude, we want to share the special journey of a fallen hero’s beloved cat, Walter, lovingly referred to as Operation Get Walter Home. Earlier this year, customer Suzi Way reached out to express her and her husband, Dana Way’s, appreciation for our employees who brought home her Navy son, Hospital Corpsman Third Class (HM3) Jordan W. Way’s body with dignity and care. In her letter, she explained that Jordan’s cat would be making the journey home to them and wanted to share this with us because “Southwest Airlines was with us from the beginning and now you all will help finish the mission of getting Walter home”.

When our Customer Relations Department received Suzi’s letter, they sprang into action to honor their family. BWI Sr. Recruiter Gabriel Rios helped coordinate American and Naval flags, to welcome Suzi and show our support upon her arrival and Baltimore Flight Attendant Reecie Howard presented Suzi with a Marine Corps Base Quantico Naval Medical Clinic Flag on behalf of her son.

Walter, the beloved cat, honorably completed his tour with HM3 Jordan W. Way’s shipmates and made his final journey home to Baltimore where our employees promoted Walter to HM3 Walter Way and gave him an engraved nametag.

This homecoming would not have happened without help from our Baltimore and San Diego Stations, Ground Operations, Inflight, and Customer Relations Departments. It was a huge team effort to welcome them home. We know that every customer who travels with us has their own story and we are grateful that the Way family shared theirs with us. This season, we are thankful for our employees, our customers, and all those who serve our country.