An Honoring Flight

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An Honoring Flight

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My dad lived the dream this past Wednesday (April 12). He took a long-awaited Honor Flight to Washington, DC. Honor Flight, a non-profit organization, transports as many United States military veterans as possible to see the memorials of the respective war they fought in Washington, D.C. at no cost to the veterans.

My dad was originally scheduled to go in October but a morning fall, sepsis and a midnight fall (ugh, ugh and UGH!) sidelined him.

I picked him up at 3:10 on Wednesday morning and left him at Midway Airport at 3:45 a.m. with wonderful, smiling volunteers. My dad regularly checked in with my mom during the day with text messages. He called once although the timing was not great: He called while my mom and I attended a funeral for my mom's cousin, who died on Saturday. My mom answered her iPhone during the mass, though, to whisper to him we were at the funeral but not before the entire church heard him excitedly report he was in front of the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial.

Honor Flight matches each vet with a guardian who accompanies the vets throughout the day. They transport the vets to the memorials, provide snacks, lunch and dinner and ensure the vets feel special throughout the day. At one point, kids from local schools in the D.C. area met them with cheers and thanks. My dad also met and shook hands with General Colin L. Powell, who greeted the vets at one point in D.C. Water salutes from fire departments greeted the plane when they arrived at Dulles and then when they arrived home at Midway. He literally loved every minute of the day.

He arrived home Wednesday night at about 10 p.m. to a parade, complete with bag pipes and a band, celebrating all the vets. "I must have shaken 100 hands," he said. My favorite memory of the parade was standing behind my sister-in-law who jumped and waved frantically to catch my dad's attention. He had a look of pure delight and joy on his face when he spotted her.

On our way home on Wednesday night, I asked my dad if he was tired. (It was 11 p.m. and I was exhausted.) "No," he said, "that welcome home really energized me."

Thanks to all who supported my dad with letters for his Mail Call, which happened on his return flight. We so appreciate your thoughtfulness and are grateful for your support.

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Alilac

What a special honor! He's happy and proud and I bet you are too Denise! Thank him for his service and I am grateful to just be able to hear about something this special. His story made my day!

frogger16

Thanks for sharing your Dad's long awaited Honor Flight with us!\nI love hearing stories honoring our Veterans & recognition for their sacrifices and service for our country. I love your family pictures at this memorable event back at the airport!