Honor Flight Homecomings: Why You Need to Go

History books tell the story of numbers. What you don’t see is that each number has a story of their own.

Last night, I looked in the eyes of nearly 180 U.S. veterans, proud men and women who served our nation in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. I have never experienced anything like it. And my scouts and I will do it again.

I waited with several of our local Girl Scouts in a hall lined with American flags, listening to the whine of bagpipes as they escorted these heroes down the hall following the end of their Honor Flight. The Honor Flight Network takes America’s veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their sacrifices.

These men and women who saw the horrors of war would tear up as they see the love of their community welcoming them with a sea of American flags. They shook  hands. Hugged their loved ones – even ones they met a moment before.

Honor Flights: Why our children need to see our nation's veterans

Watching our city’s latest Honor Flight Homecoming was one of the biggest honors of my life. Time may have eroded bodies, but they did not erase the pride these men and women felt as they were escorted down the hall, celebrated – some for the first time – as heroes.

My Cadette had the honor of meeting a woman who served in World War II during our Honor Flight Homecoming.
My Cadette meets a woman who served in World War II.

Our Brownie passed out flags and hugs. Our older girls held large American flags and shook hands. Even my Cadette, still on crutches, stood proudly as the veterans passed, hobbling over to shake hands with the men and women who served our nation.

It was an amazing experience to feel the love our families, our community had for our country: something we need to consider greatly in this time of division.

You can check out many of the other photos from our trip to the Honor Flight Homecoming on Instagram.

How You Can Help with Honor Flights

Many of the Honor Flights are coming to a close for the winter months, but please consider attending a Homecoming in 2017, or in sending letters for the “mail call” our veterans receive on the flight home from Washington, D.C. That would be an awesome project for Veteran’s Day.

As stated on the Indy Honor Flight Website:

On our way back from DC, having just visited the Memorials that stand in honor of our American Veterans, we will announce over the PA system aboard the airplane that is bringing home 178 of them the words “MAIL CALL!”

Most have not heard this announced since the war. Mail from home was often the only bright part of the entire experience for these Heroes! As part of the Honor Flight experience we deliver the mail! We need your help in filling envelopes with mail from home. We are interested in mail from every American, especially the younger generations. The guys really like the ones done in crayon the best!


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