Thursday, September 16, 2010

Triad Flight of Honor

I have long said that WWII veterans are my very favorite patients. They are tough as rocks, very polite, and never complain. They put 30-year-old whiners to shame and I am always so honored to care for them. I rarely think that siginificant government involvement in our lives is a good thing, but I do believe we need to take care of our military and especially our veterans.

Today I had the priviledge of sitting in with my son's eighth grade class as they listened to three WWII vets who went on the last Triad Flight of Honor. If you are unfamiliar with these wonderful plane trips, let me enlighten you. These honor flights happen all over the country. WWII veterans are flown to DC, free of charge (the money is raised through charitable organzizations), to visit several monuments, including the WWII Memorial. Along with Tom Brokaw, I would say without hesitation that this is "the greatest generation." This group of men and women literally saved our world from tyranny. We are free today because of the sacrifices they made, and, of course, a God who protected us. These vets are dying at a rate of over one thousand a day; obviously, it won't belong before this living, breathing part of our history is no longer with us.

It was such a blessing to hear these 3 veterans talk about the emotion involved in this trip and how honored and humbled they felt to be a part of it. This weekend, there will be another flight of honor. 100 vets will leave on Saturday morning and return on Saturday evening. Many folks come out to welcome these heroes back home. I plan to be there with the kids. The flight arrives around 8pm, but I've heard the parking lot fills up fast. If you tell them you are there for the flight, you will get free parking. Consider this a rare opportunity. These will be the only veterans that are given this honor--these of the greatest generation. I encourage you to bring the kids, a flag or two and a box of tissues and come out to PTI this Saturday in support of these heroes. If you are not from this area, I would encourage you to find out about flights where you live.

"I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died who gave that right to me. And I'll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, 'cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA!"

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