Friday, August 14, 2015

Central Missouri Honor Flight # 34!

July 29, 2015 ~ Tonight Central Missouri Honor Flight would embark on it's 34th flight with a dedicated crew of guardians, staff and doctors along with nearly 70 VIP World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans! Prior to leaving they would be well taken care of by some of the best "Red Shirt" volunteers making sure to welcome them with the warmest of smiles! I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it is to interact with these veterans as they prepare for a trip of a lifetime!

 We got a warm welcome from the Baltimore Fire Department as they sprayed both sides of the airplane with water as we were taxing to our gate! (Love the beautiful rainbow!) 

Once the buses were loaded and we were leaving the airport I just missed a great picture of these wonderful men and women saluting our veterans on board. Really cool to see so much love being shown by the Baltimore Honor Flight Ground Crew and military men and women! 

One of my friends, Molly Froidl told me that her kids would be spending the week with her mom and they really wanted to make some signs and meet the Central Missouri Honor Flight as they arrived at the World War II Memorial. It was so awesome seeing this family welcoming our veterans! 

Awesome job you guys! The veterans thought that was pretty cool! 
Thank you all for braving the heat for these men and women! 

This trip we had 46 names to be etched/rubbed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. One veteran on this flight requested 23 names of his buddies that were killed in the same plane crash as they were landing. (7 others were injured and 1 person was OK) You can read about the story here:

I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn't rain. It was so hot and muggy and at the first sign of rain the park help would not be available to get etchings/rubbings that were too high for me to reach. Luckily it just began to lightly sprinkle as the very last name was being done. 

 I have known this super sweet World War II veteran for years as he is the father of my dad's best friend. I am so glad that he got to go and his guardian did a great job of taking care of him during this trip. I had no clue that he was a veteran so what a surprise! 

This flight home would be totally different than any other flight as we would be flying back home from Baltimore, Maryland rather than Regan International Airport in Washington, DC. The plus side of this would be that Baltimore has a huge cafe court with many restaurants to choose from for dinner which we were all excited about! The downfall of flying from Baltimore is that we wouldn't get back home until around 12:30 AM. It wasn't too bad as we had more time to spend with these wonderful people and I did my best to keep them laughing! (So many great stories and conversations) 

While I can't imagine what was going through their minds on this trip I would like to think they truly felt loved and appreciated during this fast paced 24-hours. I hope this is the start of a new beginning for them and for one time in their life they got one heck of  a welcome home... something they deserved many years ago. I'm not sure how my heart can grow any bigger but after each flight somehow it does. It is a true honor to be a very small part to something so important and special in our community. Thank you again to those that support, donate, volunteer, love and care for our veterans. This organization is possible because of you and your generosity but the veterans are what drives us to give back to those that protected us through the years.... Thank you for your service! 
Do you know a World War II, Korean or Vietnam veteran? 
Ask them to please fill out a veteran application to get on the waiting list for a future flight. They can't be asked if they don't know about them! They do everything they can to get as many veterans on a flight safely therefore the waiting list moves somewhat quickly. 

Do you want to volunteer to help?
I would encourage you to fill out an application to get it turned in! They are always looking for good help from people that are dependable and caring! 

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