She wore a red shirt that declared she was the proud mother of a Marine. With two smaller children in tow and a husband walking alongside, she trailed a step or two behind a young, muscular man. He might have been over 20, but probably not.
He walked to the security checkpoint to present his ID and boarding pass. She stood by the rope line, watching intently.
He turned to the trays to begin the tedious travel routine – unloading pockets, taking off his shoes, removing his belt. She stayed close talking quietly.
He nodded a few times before he moved to the conveyor belt. She watched as the security official waved him through. She craned her neck for a glimpse of him as he gathered his belongings. She stood on tiptoes as he walked out onto the busy concourse, watching intently as he turned first one direction then the other in an attempt to find his gate.
He strode away, full of confidence, disappearing into the crowd.
After a long moment, she turned away, a hint of sadness in her eyes as she looked at her husband.
The boys, by now, were already heading down the escalator, but she walked away slowly.
She was still very obviously, very openly, very beautifully the proud mother of a Marine.