Friday, May 2, 2014

Honor Flight

      This week we traveled to Peoria, Illinois, to welcome Steve's Dad home!  John is a WWII veteran...93 years young!  Here's an early photo of John...
He served 4 years in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Long Island.  
Here's John with his brother, Bill...they served at the same time!

John flew out of Peoria at 5:30am last Tuesday with Steve's brother, Bruce.  There were about 75 veterans who participated in the Honor Flight, along with their traveling sponsors/chaperones.  They were presented with this itinerary...
 A full day for an average person, but a very full day for some of these veterans!

We arrived at the airport at about 8pm that evening to welcome the group on their arrival at 9:30pm...If you have never participated in this event, you need to look one up in your area and go to the airport!  The crowds were unbelievable for these veterans...
This is the archway that the veterans came through when they arrived home...

This is just some of the people who showed up to thank the travelers!

Even the bagpipers were there to welcome them!

My cousin, Jackie, sister-in-law, Nancy, and me with our signs to welcome John!

Carol & Al Oliver were there to cheer on the troops!

And here's our Navy guy with his 3 kids!  He looks great after such a long day!

Steve and I with John!

I cannot even express my emotion standing in that room, watching all the veterans parade by...half of them in wheelchairs...and we tried to shake each and everyone of their hands and thank them for their service!  Most of the veterans were WWII soldiers, but there were some Vietnam War vets too...I shook hands with one and he said later that this evening was the greatest appreciation he had received since he came home from Vietnam!  We were so honored to greet all these was a very emotional evening and one I'm so glad we went back for!  Steve's Dad did not know we would be there and it was fun to surprise him!

Now we want to go!  The Honor Flights are held all over the Minnesota they fly out of Duluth and the Twin Cities...we would love to accompany a veteran to Washington D.C....

And perhaps I could accompany this husband!
Steve with Jen on his last day of service at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma!  
He was drafted in the last draft of the Vietnam War...he served 2 years!

So...if you know a veteran...thank them for their service!  They made lots of sacrifices, time away from family, and because of our veterans, we can live free...
God Bless America!