He grinned like a Cheshire Cat.
Entrepreneur’s dad is a military vet. Serving in the Air Force as a medic during the Korean War, he spent time in North Africa during his tenure in the service from 1952 to 1956.
And last Monday, he was officially recognized and thanked by a group known as Central Missouri Honor Flight.
This non-profit group, run solely on donations and volunteers, transports our military heroes from the heartland to Washington DC to see the memorials and reflect on their time in the service. Since 2009, they’ve provided this trip to more than 1,200 veterans. They are concentrating on WWII veterans since that generation is fast disappearing (at 1,000 dying each day). Their goal is to take as many veterans as possible…at no cost to them….and treat them like royalty for a day, providing transportation, personal assistants, meals and anything else they need while visiting the memorials. From start to finish, they’re pampered and made to feel special.
We were privileged enough to be there when they returned from their day trip. And what an entrance it was!
Flags lined the street in front of the home destination.
People waited patiently for the entourage to arrive about 10:45pm. The VFW was there in full force. Hundreds of people were there with flags.
We were told they would be getting close when we felt the earth tremble. The earth would tremble because the busses were being escorted by 450 motorcycle riders that included the Honor Flight Riders, Patriot Guard, off-duty Highway Patrol/County Sheriff/Police Officers, and any friends or family who wanted to ride in the procession.
The riders met the busses 20 miles from home as they were coming from the airport. Along the way, people were waving and flashing lights as the busses went by. Entrances to the highway were closed and police escorts led the way, closing intersections until they passed.
I must say, it was an impressive site to see that many riders in procession. Entrepreneur’s brother, his wife, and one of their sons were even along for the ride. This is our 18-year-old nephew riding in honor of his grandpa.
After the motorcycle procession finished, two tour busses pulled up to the front of the hotel.
Escorted by their assistant and an Honor Flight Rider, each veteran got off the bus and was personally introduced as they were cheered and applauded.
Judging by the expression on his face, I think he had a pretty good time, don’t you? Is it joy….or sheer exhaustion? Probably both.
How cool would it be to say you rode with the Honor Flight Riders for your Dad/Grandpa/Friend?! This is Dad with his family/friends motorcycle escorts.
Dad said it was one of the most emotional days of his life, and he found tears in his eyes more than once as they toured the memorials. We could tell it was truly an amazing experience for him. And one he will never forget. God bless the men and women of the Honor Flight organization who work tirelessly to make this possible for all those who gave of themselves during some very dark days in our nation’s history.
This shot perhaps says it all.
Yep, Cheshire Car all the way!