The Honor Flight Network is a nation-wide non-profit organization that helps America’s veterans, for FREE, to visit and reflect at the memorials made in their honor.
While traveling with 56 people from Southern Oregon to Washington DC, 25 of which were veterans from the Korean War and WWII, I learned that we are blessed and graced, and profoundly lucky to live in an area that appreciates these folks so much. Southern Oregon is wildly patriotic and our small community is so transparently proud of the number of veteran’s that reside here.
The surprising thing is the number of veterans that needed encouragement to go! I realized how many of our veterans did not feel like a hero and questioned whether or not they should go – yet I heard them talking about bombs, and sleepless nights and losing loved ones (friends and family in these wars) while stationed all over the world wondering if they’d wake to live another day. It is amazing how humble this generation is and how appreciative they are to be recognized and honored.
Connecting with them personally was an emotional experience…. I would close my eyes and try to visualize the stories that they’d tell. Connecting them with their memorial was emotional for them, and quite possibly one of the most humbling experiences of my life. It was sometimes eerie to stand in silence, looking around at names on the Vietnam Wall, or stars on the WWII Memorial and watch them take it all in; one breath, one scent, and one exhale at a time. I don’t think any of them knew how much they needed to see these things!
Every single veteran we know deserves to be honored. Please spread the word about this incredible program. There are national opportunities to volunteer and serve. Tell your aging family members about this and encourage them to sign up. They will be forever grateful, and so will you… assuming you get to be their guardian.
If you know of a veteran that would like to attend Honor Flight, please get them in touch with Honor Flight of Oregon at http://www.honorflightoforegon.org/ or call us at (541) 295-8230 and we'll connect you with the right people!