Thursday, May 2, 2013

Honor Flight: One Last Mission (Documentary)

April 22, 2013 ~ There are two age groups I really enjoy being around.... kids and seniors/veterans. There is something special about both. Kids are so candid and tell what they are thinking because they don't know better. Seniors/veterans just tell it like it is. They have been there and done that and it's just the way they are. I so appreciate both and we can learn so much from them.

I have always wanted to go on the Central Missouri Honor Flight. I felt this would be something to experience that I would never forget and be able to see the veterans memorials with some national treasures. Sadly, I did not qualify because I didn't have medical experience. I completely understood and respect this. I would rather make room for someone who was able to help a veteran in the event there was a medical emergency. I would rather be a supporter of this organization and cheer them on rather than take away a very important role in the flights.

I have attended a honor flight welcome last year and what a wonderful experience. To see all the men/women being greeted as they come of the bus after traveling all day to see their memorials was something I will never forget. What made it even more special was I was there with my mom!

At that point I wanted to do more. I wanted to help raise funds to keep the Central Missouri Honor Flights going as the flight was free to the veteran but they needed money to cover costs of the plane. I decided to contact the Restorative Justice program at Jeff City Correctional Center in Jeff City, MO. (I learned about this program through my Greater Missouri Leadership program in 2012 and was impressed with what they do for various organizations in surrounding communities) I was amazed when they donated over 60 items for an auction. They were more than happy to help with this and I was very grateful! I knew that I wouldn't be able to raise funds by having an auction on my own and when this documentary was going to be shown I thought it was the perfect place to have a silent auction because everyone in attendance was there because of our veterans. It would have a stronger impact if they could see what the money from the silent auction would directly benefit.

This evening was sponsored by Veterans United Foundation and would be held at The Crossing in Columbia, MO. Veterans and their guest were treated to dinner and a movie. It was amazing to be apart of this evening because we were among some of the greatest national treasures... our veterans!

I helped with cutting the awesome cakes for dessert! (Great job Hy-Vee)

 From the moment I saw this young man walk into the room I knew I wanted to get a picture of him. This is RET Captain Ralph Dobbs and both he and his daughter were super sweet and I have to admit... he looked pretty sharp in his uniform!

From 5:00-6:00 PM it was dinner and a silent auction. At 6:00 PM was the showing of the film. It was great to see so many people attending tonight's program!
Everyone was so excited to see this documentary!

As the movie was getting ready to start several of us started working on the silent auction items. When the movie was over everyone would want to pick up their items they had won and we tried to put everything in order to make it easier. They had the video playing in the lobby area where we were and although I wasn't able to fully watch it I was able to hear it.

A wonderful young man by the name of Rex Bandy came over after the documentary had started. I grabbed him by the hand and lead him into the theater. He said it was too loud and he was ready to go. My goal at this point was to keep him here as long as I could! After all this was for him too! As we entered back into the lobby he started dancing all around and I played right along! If this brought a smile to his face then by golly we were going to keep him smiling! We danced some sort of a river dance and he twirled me around.... he was so sweet! After a few moments I told him "Let's get you something to eat". (I was told by the gentleman that brought him that he was a very picky eater and probably wouldn't eat anything.) I grabbed him a box lunch and the only 2 things I could get him to eat.... potato salad and Cheetos! The guy that brought him said that he has never ate potato salad... call me a miracle worker! Ha! (He must have been hungry or didn't want to hurt my feelings so he ate it!) After about 30 minutes of conversion and eating he was ready to go.

To watch the trailer to Honor Flight: One Last Mission click on the link below:

Veterans United Home Loans and the Veterans United Foundation present the Columbia, Missouri premiere of the documentary "Honor Flight". Help us to celebrate the Greatest Generation and honor the service and sacrifice of World War II veterans! 

"Honor Flight" gained national attention this summer when its premiere broke the Guinness World Record for the largest film screening in history at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI with over 28,000 people in attendance. 

"Honor Flight" is a documentary about a community coming together to show their thanks to living World War II veterans, before it’s too late. The volunteers race against the clock to fly every local WWII veteran to the WWII memorial in Washington, DC. The trips are called "Honor Flights" and for the all-but-forgotten veterans, who are in their late 80s and early 90s, it's often the first time they've been thanked and the last trip of their lives. For more information on the film, visit the film's website at:

“'Honor Flight' is a remarkable film. Grandparents, parents and children can all appreciate the stories told in this powerful and moving tribute to WWII Veterans and this country.” ~Senator Bob Dole

We are a non-profit 501c (3) organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. The group transports our heroes from throughout Central Missouri to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their memorials at no cost to them. Since our inception in 2009, we have transported over 1000 veterans to Washington. Top priority is given to senior veterans – WWII survivors, along with other veterans who may be terminally ill. We are a totally volunteer organization and are funded by donations from individuals, organizations and businesses who wish to see our aging veterans honored before it is too late.
Of all the wars in recent memory, it was WWII that truly threatened our very existence as a nation and free society. Now, with more than 1,000 WWII veterans dying each day (20 each day in Missouri), time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.
Central Missouri Honor Flight will do whatever it takes to fulfill the dreams of our veterans and help them travel at no cost. Medical and mobility issues are no problem. We travel with doctors, nurses, paramedics and younger veterans who serve as personal guardians to our honored guests. We also travel with a “large fleet” of wheelchairs for those veterans who require wheelchairs or may need one as they tire. We complete the trip in one day so our veterans do not have to spend the night in Washington.
Subsequent to the WWII veterans, our efforts will turn to our Korean War veterans and then, to our Vietnam veterans. 

Learn more about Central Missouri Honor Flight at

Being a very small piece to this amazing thing that our community has done and is continuing to do for our veterans is a wonderful feeling.  Our older community member's, especially our veterans often get pushed to the side when in reality they are the reason we are even here. Many of these men and women didn't know if they would ever come back home and many feel guilty that they lived when their best friend didn't. We need to embrace what they have done for us and treat all veterans with respect and honor that they each deserve. Make sure you take time to thank a veteran.

I am happy to say that this event brought in over $10,000.00! The silent auction brought in just under $2,400.00 and because of the dedication that Veterans United Foundation has towards our military both active and veterans they donated an additional $25,000.00! What an amazing evening filled with many emotions but most of all love. This evening will directly impact our aging veterans with the ability to fly to Washington, D.C. to see their memorials! This makes my heart so happy! Thank you to everyone who was ever involved with this program including the Paulsell's..... Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

You will be able to purchase the movie on on June 4, 2013. I highly recommend everyone to see this documentary!

No comments:

Post a Comment