Honor Flight NetworkHonor Flight is a national non-profit organization that honors America’s veterans for all their sacrifices by transporting them to Washington, DC to visit the various memorials dedicated to their service, as well as Arlington National Cemetery. These flights are done throughout the year and all over the country. The Honor Flight staff, volunteers and veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam make this trip to DC and back to their home city all in one day!

Although my husband and I could not go to DC with them, we did have the honor of welcoming these men and women home from one of the Central Florida Honor Flights last October. The majority of the vets that we welcomed home that night served during World War II, however, we did see one gentleman that had a hat indicating that he served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, truly a dedicated serviceman!

Their flight was delayed that night, but the 100 or so people that were waiting to greet them at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport didn’t seem to mind. The time waiting was spent listening and dancing to the big band sounds being played by a local middle school jazz band.

As the men and women who served our nation during one of the most difficult times our country (world) has ever known, came off the plane and headed back to their homes, the 100 or so people waiting for them made a pathway to greet them! As I leaned over to shake the hand of one gentleman in a wheelchair who served in WWII he was tearing up and said he couldn’t believe we were all there for him, it was 60 or 70 years ago! As I shook his hand and thanked him for his service, I told him, “if it weren’t for him doing what he did back then, I probably would not be here now to welcome him home again!”

It was a very emotional night and one that I soon won’t forget! When you see a vet, be sure to thank him or her for their service. If you ever get a chance to welcome home an Honor Flight, don’t hesitate. I think you will find that it will enrich the lives of both the vets and you!