4.26.2010

Honor Flight

If you read my post from Friday, you know that Will was flying to Washington, D.C. early Saturday morning. The reason for his departure was very special....he was serving as a volunteer chaperone on the Tennessee Valley Honor Flight. 

In 2004, the National World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington. Many of the brave men and women who fought in WWII were unable to see this great monument, as the average age of veterans of the war was around 78 years old at the time the Memorial was unveiled. The Honor Flight was conceived in 2004, with it's sole purpose being to fly our veterans to Washington, where they would be able to visit the memorials dedicated to honor the many sacrifices they made for our freedom.

The initial Tennesse Valley Honor Flight was in 2007, and since then the organization has sent thousands of veterans to our nation's capitol, completely free of charge. Honor Flight is able to provide this wonderful service because of the kindness of volunteers; Volunteers who are merely ordinary citizens with an interest in honoring our nation's veterans.  Will was selected as a chaperone for the trip, and was assigned to accompany one veteran, Mr. Owen Walker, who served in the Navy during World War II. Will was especially interested in volunteering for the flight, because his grandfather was one of the fortunate veterans who enjoyed one of the past flights.

Will had many stories to share from the trip, and many moments that he will always remember.  After 60 years of waiting, these veterans were able to see what was built to honor them. And best of all, thanks to the Honor Flight, the men and women who served in WWII were able to reminisce with fellow veterans, reflecting on both good times and bad, remembering both victories and sacrifices. 

When the veterans arrived late that night, many people were waiting to shower them with applause and fanfare. Family members offered teary hugs, and elementary school children bearing patriotic hats volunteered their time to offer a warm welcome to these special men and women.  Hudson and I were there to welcome the veterans, along with my parents and Will's parents. I think Hudson enjoyed spending a few hours with both sets of his grandparents! He was such a sweet boy! Through all of the commotion, even the loud patriotic music played by the wonderful Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, our little guy didn't make a peep. He tried soo hard to stay awake to welcome Daddy home, but he just couldn't make it, falling asleep in his grandfather's arms. 

I am happy that Will was able to be a part of this unique experience, and I am even happier that the veterans got this incredible opportunity. If you know a veteran of any war, take the time to thank them for their service....I promise you they will appreciate it.


{Will and Mr. Walker at the WWII Memorial}


{Remembering Alabama's Veterans}


{U.S. Soldiers}


{Will, Mr. Walker, and his grandsons in Washington}


{The Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier}

{The Grandfathers & Hudson}


{Hudson's Grandmothers are feeling patriotic}

{Veterans arrive home}


{Alabamian & American Idol Runner Up, Bo Bice, arrives home after accompanying his grandfather on the flight}


{Mr. Walker receives a warm welcome from his family after the Honor Flight}


{Little Hudson is too sleepy to welcome the veterans}


{"Is that you, Dad?"}


{"Glad you're home. Night Night."}

2 comments:

Gina said...

What an amazing thing to get to be a part of!

abehel said...

What a special experience for Will. Such a sweet picture of him with Hudson asleep in his arms.