Have you heard of Indy Honor Flight?
I just joined this fantastic organization as a volunteer, and you have to hear about them!
Indy Honor Flight, an all-Volunteer organization, takes wartime veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials built in their honor. FOR FREE!
They offer a full day of thanks and honor to the men and women who served our country during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip for so many of our Hoosier Heroes.
I recently applied to volunteer as a guardian but learned they have a 1-2 year waiting period. Guardians are paired up with veterans and serve as their connection throughout the flight. They pick them up and transport them to the airport. They sit next to them on the flight, escort them to the memorials and are responsible for their safety during the trip.
I got in!
I learned this week that a volunteer slot fell through, and I was offered an opportunity to be a Guardian! So, of course, I gladly accepted, and I am so excited!
Bob, a Vietnam-era Vet, will travel in April, and I get to be his guardian. I look forward to meeting him and his family and learning more about his unit and military service.
This got real personal for me. As I think about Vietnam veterans, I’m reminded of my late father, who served in the army at that time. But, unfortunately, I never got a chance to understand what he went through or the full scope of his military service.
They roll out the red carpet.
Indy Honor Flight rolls out the red carpet for our veterans. They do a huge meet and greet event on the Friday before the flight. Then on Saturday, we report at 4:15 and then have a full day ahead of us.
The Washington D.C. bus stops are at Arlington Cemetery to watch the guard changing ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We will also visit the World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and Lincoln Memorials, and the bus tour includes Capitol Hill and the White House.
Even with all of that, I think the most exciting parts of the trip are after we leave Washington.
I can’t tell you what happens next.
I don’t want to spoil the surprise in case Bob is reading my post! So visit my Facebook group to hear about this extraordinary and emotional event during the flight back. Trust me; it is going to be amazing! You won’t want to miss this!
After we return to Indy, each veteran enters the auditorium, one at a time, as their name is announced. A crowd of more than 3,000 people welcomes them to banners, noisemakers, and cheers!
Yea, I got choked up too!!
Many veterans, especially Vietnam-era, came home to mistreatment, harassment, being spit on, and worse. Many of them never received a proper Hero’s welcome.
Can you see why I’m so excited about this opportunity? I look forward to posting updates. Please take a moment to join my Facebook group to stay updated with pictures and stories.
I do need your help!
But, it’s not what you think! I will ask you to play a particular part in the massive event during the flight back. Join my pop-up Facebook group to find out more about it and what easy task you can do to make sure Bob gets a proper thank you.
This is something you can do; your kiddos, classmates or co-workers can do as well. Join me!
I will add a post for those who want to donate or bring their family and attend the welcome-home ceremony.
Image from Indy Honor Flight official Facebook page.