Area veterans travel to Washington D.C.

Debbie Snapp,
ECB Publishing, Inc.

The price for freedom is high. In reverence to those World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans who served, fought and fell for this country, Honor Flight Tallahassee salutes their service each year by sponsoring a flight to Washington, D.C. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for military veterans to visit the various monuments raised in their honor; a not-for-profit organization dedicated to giving veterans honor and closure.
Since 2013, Honor Flight has been transporting veterans, at no charge to them, to commemorate their bravery, gallantry and sacrifice. Honor Flight Tallahassee is part of the Honor Flight Network, a national organization that is unwavering in its quest to ensure that each veteran has the chance to tour the memorials built in appreciation of their service.
This past May, Tallahassee Honor Flight transported 80 veteran heroes and 80 guardians for a day of pampering and recognition. The veterans were given special gold shirts to wear, their guardians were given blue shirts. Six of those heroes were Jefferson County residents, they include: Bill Moon, Ron Matthews, Jerry Boatwright, Gene Timmons, George Pittman and Randall Handley.
Our local heroes left the General Aviation Hangar in Tallahassee early in the morning and returned later that night after visiting the monuments in our Nation's Capitol. When they returned, local students greeted them with handmade 'thank you' cards, one to each veteran.
Comments from the honored veterans included: “Every time we turned someone was saying 'thank you for your service.'” “The changing of the guards was somber and really quiet and when the Taps played you could watch the tears in almost every eye watching.” “All were awesome sights.” “We received a police escort while touring and traveling from one location to the other. Each stop was one-hour long.” “Absolute beautiful sights.” “The monuments were life-size and it was the expressions on the faces of these statues of the men hit me the most.” “There were so many names on The Wall.” “We met other veterans from other states; some were 96 years of age.”
Sights included the Korean War Memorial, WWII Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Memorials of all the military service branches and for each state, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Lincoln Memorial, Pearl Harbor Memorial and the Arlington Cemetery (640 acres, one mile by one mile, with all the white crosses in perfect order).
Honor Flight is funded by contributions. Contact Director Mac Kemp at honorflighttallahassee.org or (1-888) 881-1566 for more information.