The focus of this blog has been safety, but with Veterans Day coming up, I want to use this one to talk about my father-in-law. Roscoe flew 33 missions as a B-17 navigator in World War II. On Tuesday he took one more flight, this time as one of 70 veterans who flew to Washington, DC, as part of the Honor Flight program. Over the last three years, the group that organizes the flights that leave from Mississippi has taken nearly 600 vets to DC where they tour WWII memorial, the tomb of the unknowns and the Iwo Jima memorial, among other sites. There are other Honor Flight groups that have taken vets from other parts of the country
It is a moving and fitting honor for these men and women. Roscoe called it one of the best moments of his life.
We should also honor the people who make these flights happen, including the volunteers who organize what amounts to a very old and a little bit creaky army on the move and the donors who have stepped up to fund the flights. And we should recognize the hundreds of people who show up in Washington to greet the vets and who line the corridors of the Gulfport-Biloxi airport to welcome them home again. Most of these people don’t know any of the vets on the trip. They just come to show respect.
And then there is my wife, who was so determined to make sure that Roscoe was healthy and ready to make the flight, I think she would have flown the plane if she needed to.