This past Saturday, May 3rd, these five words "I was Remembered and Honored" very aptly described the fifteen hours I was with the Honor Flight Michigan. I was accompanied by my niece, Kathy K. - she was assigned to a Marine, Raymond S.
What a day. Difficult for me to fully describe my personal feelings for the wonderful six hours we were on the ground in Wsaashinton DC. There wer so many highlights - would like to pass a few onto you.
Your good Guardian as 3 m at Meijers -they welcomed us with handshakes and big smiles, then assigning us to specific groups and making us feel at ease - wonderful folks.
At Detroit Metro Airport we had a delightful breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast and coffee.
While in the air aboard our NW 727 to Washington the Captain announced our presence - 40 of us - as Veterans of WWII. We received a wonderful response form fellow passengers. Our departure from Metros was a tad early, arrival also early. Air speed 520 mpg.
Arrive Regan Airport. Would you believe at 8:45 am a hundred or more passengers on other flights "hand clapping, waving the American Flag" as we passed by them on our way to board our bus. Personally, I had to stop by a wall to collect my thoughts - and to fully absorb fellow American folks applauding former military personnel who fought over 63 years ago - I was misty eyed.
At the picturesque WWII Memorial I was lucky to procure a motorized electric scooter thanks to Kathy. We had over an hour to wander around this wonderful Memorial, to fully grasp the sounds and sights it offered The weather was perfect - 79 degrees - bright sunshine. Very interestingly groups of the younger generation, like teenagers, approached me on the scooter, shaking hands, embracing, saying kind words.
One teacher from a Huntington Middle School in California asked me if I would take a few minutes to address her 8th grad students about the military. To me it was a pleasure. I departed my scooter, introduced myself, the young ladies likewise. I alongside my niece Kathy, talked at length with them I showed them a couple of photos of me in a combat uniform in Liege, Belgium After telling them in a short story form the responsibility of a military soldier they seemed very receptive which led them to ask several questions which Kathy and I readily answered. We hugged and wished them well on their return to California the nest day.
To me, talking to these young attentive 8th grade students, it was very rewarding - a wonderful group of future Americans. Kathy and I were proud to be an American. Katy, who presently teaches school in the Utica School System fully understands the present day school children. Kat
Changing of the Guard - another misty eyed event. As a former S/Sgt in an army infantry division, I was aware of he training that goes with becoming an Elite Marine soldier guarding the Tomb of the Unknown. With approximately 150 onlookers there was a deathly silence while these Marines performed their duties with absolute perfection. A gain we are proud to be an American.
Boarding a highly polished bus, blue in color, we toured the rolling manicured hills where thousands of fellow military personnel are buried who gave their lives for our Country. Their granite headstones, in perfect formation, shown bightly in the sunshine - a sight never to be forgotten. God Bless Them All.
During our six hour presence in the War Memorial are we always had access to bottles of cold water, keeping everyone refreshed.
Returning to Detroit we again received a wonderful response from fellow passengers when the Captain announced or presence.
Upon arrival at the Meier store, an enthusiastic welcoming committee of family and friends, waving American flags and applauding as we departed our bus. A wonderful ending to a day we will never forget.
Ed M, Shelby Township, MI
We cannot thank you and the staff of Honor Flight Michigan enough for amost memorable day.
It is inconceivable how much work goes into the planning, preparing, and the actual trip. It was so well organized, from our eyes it went very smooth.
I took 86 photos and regret not taking more. Unfortunately I cannot identify anyone in the photos other than Bob Dole.
Wayne C. and Liz A., Port Huron, MI
Just wanted to thank you for the special trip my son and I had at Washington DC on June 7, 2008. Even though we had a few glitches all was taken in good stride and the reception we received at the airport as a highlight and with Senator Dole at the monument. It was a memorable day for us and many veterans who are proud of this country. Your organizing this even takes considerable time and effort and we appreciate all the hours of planning.
We would also like to thank the many sponsors for this rip which would not have been available to these veterans. A special thanks to all the members of Honor Flight Michigan Guardians, especially Bud Wease, Barbara Sampson, and Mr Flash himself, Brad Ziegler. Our group leader, Sharon, was pleasant as well. I almost shed teas on arrival at Washington airport.
You people will be long remembered especially by us old codgers.
Dick T., Baldwin, MI
My brother Al and I would like to thank you and your organization for an outstanding day in Washington DC visiting the World war II Memorial, Arlington Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Monument. It must have taken a great deal of experience and organization to have perfected this trip for us veterans, thinkg of our comfort and convenience and caring for our needs.
The World War II Memorial is indeed a fitting salute to all the men and women who served in the armed forces and to those at home who supported them during thwart. We were thrilled to visit it for the first time. The solemn Changing of the Guard and the Commemorative Wreath ceremonies at the Tom of the Unknowns were inspiring. The wreath presentation for the WWII veterans was especially appreciated by us. T he narrated tram tour of Arlington National Cemetery was very informative along with the view of the Pentagon 9/11 attack site, the memorial and the visit to the graves of Johan and Robert Kennedy. The visit to the Iwo Jima Memorial was awesome and we appreciated the opportunity to take pictures.
We wish to thank all of the Honor Flight volunteers who accompanied the group especially Carole, our group leader. She was very kind, cheerful, friendly and patient while looking after us throughout the day. The photographer, Nate Strong, was outstanding as well. The Washington based volunteers are to be commended for their warm welcome and help.
We appreciate the Honor Flight t-shirts, the Souvenir WWII book and other gifts in the nice tote gag which was provided for the trip. Recognition of our group by the Northwest personnel was greatly appreciated.
Thank you again to you and your group for a great trip to visit the WWII Memorial.
Edward S., Bloomfield Hills, MI
Thank you soooo much for making this trip possible for so many veterans. My father, Benjamin C. traveled with the group on May 17th. He had an unbelievable time - many new memories - he is still talking about it. Please thank Chris (RN) with Team #1 - she made my father feel comfortable and welcomed. Keep up the good work! Thanks again.
Becky R., Saline, MI
I was on the flight to Washington DC Saturday August 2. I would like to thank you for a wonderful day, one I will never forget. I have been around the world but that day tops them all. Thanks again.
LeRoy Bud W., Pinckney, MI
This letter is a follow up to the great time I had on the Veterans trip to Washington. I want to thank you for the smooth operations. It was well planned and executed. Your helpers were outstanding.
I am enclosing a small check to be used for future funds and future flights.
My wife said that my face was glowing when I came home.
Thank you again.
Herb E., West Bloomfield, MI
I want to thank you for a wonderful day (June 21st) long but unforgettable.
From the trip from Meijer's parking lot to the return, it was all well planned and executed. The reception at Reagan National Airport was an expected, wonderful greeting which was really appreciated by all.
The breakfast we received was outstanding and service was good.
The bus trip to the World War II Memorial was interesting, when on the way we saw many interesting government buildings and the main reason for the trip. The World War II Memorial is a wonderful tribute to the veterans of World War II, The sight of the Arlington National Cemetery is one we will never forget. The Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns was enjoyable with their precision.
We hope the enclosed check will help some other veteran make the same enjoyable trip
Paul and Marion C.
Just a note to say a big "thanks" for the unbelievable Honor Flight of June 21, 2008. Also pass this along to all the Guardians (what a great job they did), the nurses, advance people (in Washington) and your staff.
The trip and sightseeing were out of this world. However the people we met on the plane and in Washington at the airport, tours, memorials were beyond description - what a welcome - WOW!!
This is one of he best things to happen to me in a lot of years.
Bud H., Hillsdale, MI
I'd like to thank all the lovely people on this program for a much appreciated and enjoyable trip to Washington on June 14, 2008. Everyone treated me beautifully. Thanks again.
Joe A., West Bloomfield, MI
To everyone who helped in our trip - kindness like yours makes a difference. I sure did like the way we were treated and the nice trip we had.
Gene B., Clare, MI
To Honor Flight Michigan, the sponsors, the wonderful Guardians on the flight we took on July 12, 2008.
I am 82 years old and soon to become 83. I'm lucky to be quite a busy guy and healthy for my age. But as an ex-GI I have never experienced a finer day as Saturday, July 12.
The respect shown to us was something I have never experienced before. The loving care given to the guys who found it difficult to get around was fantastic.
The greeting we received from the wonderful people was breathtaking.
The trips to all of the memorials were great and the comradeship with all of my buddies was wonderful.
Thank you, thank you for a wonderful day, a trip that I will always remember. Great, great work!
Leo B., Walled Lake, MI
I just wanted to drop a line on how much I appreciated and enjoyed the trip. Both you and guardians deserve a lot more credit than you get. Once again, it was a great trip and I am sure glad I was invited. Thanks again.
Donald N., Stanwood, MI
We would like to thank you for the memorable, heartfelt trip (June 7, 2008) that we were privileged to be a part of. We thank all of the donors, organizers, chaperones and all who work so hard to make the "Honor Flight" possible.
The outpouring of generosity, respect, kindness and the caring spirit shown to us has been etched in our minds and felt in our hearts. Thanks again for allowing us the opportunity to be part of the "Honor Flight".
James F. and Joseph S.
A belated greeting and hearty thank you to the people at Honor Flight Michigan especially to the people that were on duty on May 17, 2008 to the World War II Memorial. We were greatly impressed with these wonderful people for their professionalism and their dedication to duty on our behalf. Thank you very much for this opportunity. I will cherish the enjoyable experience.
Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Sometimes life delivers experiences too overwhelming to adequately express gratitude. My recent journey to Washington DC courtesy of your Honor Flight Program was one such experience. Sixty years after the fact, to realize that an organization, such as yours, actually cares enough to remember those that committed to the defense of our great land is almost a greater reward than the original victory we all sacrificed for.
While a simple "Thank You" seems totally inadequate, please accept mine and pleas continue to remind all veterans, and their families that their effort were not in vain and will long be remembered.
Harvey R., Grayling, MI
What a trip! I want to thank Honor Flight Michigan and everyone in your group for a fantastic day.It was so well organized from the breakfast to the check out at the Detroit airport. Fortunately I didn't need help in getting around but for those who did were well attended to.The arrival at the Washington airport lobby put tears in my eyes - what a welcome.
Thanks, thanks, thanks.
Don P., Clark Lake, MI
It is with deep appreciation I thank all those involved in the Honor Flight Michigan October 18th trip to Washing DC.
To provide this wonderful opportunity to my fellow veterans and myself to see the WWII Memorial and Arlington's somber beauty will never be erased from memory.
The warm love, compassion, and helpfulness shown to us by the Guardians was beyond belief. The applause, handshakes and the people thanking us for our service was heartwarming to all of us.
Although, not asked for, nor expected, it was my wish to enclose a donation which in part may enable another veteran to enjoy this trip
Again, thanks so much for this wonderful memory.
Fred L., Farmington Hills, MI
Thank you very much for my wife and me for our wonderful trip to the WWII Memorial October 4, 2008. with the group from Fox Run.
Our organization and our guardians Russ Knopp, Julie Soyer, and Barbara Chirio did and outstanding job of providing assistance, companionship, and top quality treatment to make our trip a memorable lifetime experience.
Thanks and more thanks to you all.
Enclosed is a token of our appreciation which we hope will make it possible for other vets to enjoy the experience we were so fortunate to have. Thanks again from the bottom of our hearts for the change of a lifetime at our ages.
Ken and Pat H., Novi, MI
I am very grateful to your organization for providing the trip to Washington DC.
I enjoyed it very much and very thankful for the help of your volunteers to us that needed it. My Guardians, Carol Kavanaugh and Paul Locker, were very attentive to my needs and I appreciate it.
Enclosed is a check to be used as needed.
Joseph L., Romulus, MI
THANK YOU for the trip to Washington DC on October 18th. My brother Carl and I were very appreciative of the honor. It was, indeed, a trip never to be forgotten, and on which we could never have afforded on our own.
You are doing a great work for our World War II veterans.
May God bless you for this.
Please accept this check as a token of my appreciation.
Ted J., Big Rapids, MI
I will be forever grateful for the wonderful opportunity you and your staff have me to participate in the Michigan Honor Flight. The visit to the World War II Memorial, Arlington Cemetary and the other memorable sites was truly amazing.
The World War II veterans I met were all very friendly and great to be with.
Also thank you for the heartfelt kindness and generosity. Last but not least all helpful guardians.
Again, thank you
Leo K., Redford, MI
What a day! What a great day!
I will be grateful for my remaining days! I was on the Honor Flight Michigan on August 2 to Washington DC to see the National WWII Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. I also got he chance to talk to Sen. Bob Dole. What a day!
The Guardians were just great. They couldn't do enough for us. They knew when their job and did it very well.
This small check will help a little. I wish it could be more.
I would also like to volunteer in some way.
Thanks again for a very great day and God love you and the Honor Flight.
Jim B.,White Lake, MI
Thanks to everyone in your organization and especially those involved in the August 2, 2008 trip to Washington DC. The visits to the World War II Memorial and to the Arlington National Cemetery were interesting, fun, and emotional beyond belief. This self-professed someone cynical and thick-skinned old guy was intensely moved by these beautiful and thought-provoking sites.
When we were met on arrival at Washington International Airport by the saluting, uniformed honor guard and the cheering crowd I very nearly lost it completely. Whoever arranged and coordinated the welcome, transportation, food, guides, and Senator Dole appearance did a wonderful job. Please extend my thanks to them.
Enclosed is a donation. I hope that this will be used to allow another veteran to make the rewarding trip that I so much enjoyed.
Again, my thanks to everyone concerned and best wishes for the continued success of this program.
Ben E. Bloomfield Hills, MI
My heartfelt thanks to the Honor Flight Michigan organization whoa re sponsoring day trips at no cost to the World War II Memorial in Washington DC.
On July 26th, I and a Navy Vet neighbor with other Vets, including two women, one a nurse and the other a Marine, assembled at 3:30 am at Meijer's. A bus took us to the Northwest terminal where we enjoyed a full breakfast.
We were accompanied by 12 Guardians, volunteers who took care of 8 wheelchair-bound people and guided us through the logistics of the tour. They paid their own way, $300, the individual cost for each participant.
Our 1˝ flight brought us to Reagan Airport. As we exited the ramp into the Terminal, two rows of various uniformed military folks lined our path, saluting us at attention while 500 or so people clapped and cheered us, bringing tears to the eyes of some of our group.
We had 1 hour to see the superb Memorial to the 16 million people who served and the more than 400,000 who gave their lives.
A t about 11 am we met with former Senator Bob Dole. He made appoint of personally speaking with each wheelchair vet. Everyone took pictures with him and I kidded him, asking if he would possibly be John McCain's Vie President. His rely was that their average combined age would be 80 years. Certainly not a winning election combination. A Park guard said that he visit the site every Wednesday and Saturday, rain or shine, to great veterans and visitors. He led the $193 million dollar fund raising effort in 1992-3.
W ha a great box lunch on the bus, proceeding to the Arlington National Cemetery. We boarded a tram with a guide who pointed out all of the burial sections and individual hero's burial sites. At 1:30 pm the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns was very impressive. Our flight back to Detroit and bus back to the assembly area point ended at 7:30 pm.
Providing this memorable gift to all WWII veterans, who are now in their 80's, some very fragile, is most generous and compassionate. Since there are no corporate sponsors funds are individual donors and hard fund raising efforts.
Since I can afford it, my check is in the mail in appreciation, so some other vet can go.
Robert K, Metamora, MI
My heartfelt thanks to the "Honor Flight Michigan" organization. Providing this memorable gift to all WWII Veterans, who are now all in their 80's is most generous and compassionate.
I would encourage all to contribute to this worthwhile endeavor.
Robert W. K.
To all of the people who participated in the Honor Flight To Washington D.C. that I took, I want to express my gratitude and thanks for a trip I will remeber for the rest of my life. My wife and family were so excited and pleased
that this opportunity was offered to me. All of you were extremely helpful during the entire trip, especially Richard P. who wheeled me around all day. Without his special attention, I would not have been able to participate in this wonderful occasion.
In closing again, please accept my most heartfelt thanks and please keep up the good work until every Michigan WWII Veteran gets a chance to go to Washington.
Our country needs more people like you - God Bless,
John L. D..
What a day! What a GREAT DAY! I will be grateful for my remainig days to all of you at Honor Flight Michigan. Our Guardians were just great - so kind and friendly.
May God love you all.
Thank you for my Honor Flight. I have been priviledge to go around the world, but the day you planned for us Veterans has topped it all.
I ordered two jackets from your web site to support Honor Flight Michigan.
Thank you ever so much,
How wonderful my trip was. I felt safe and secure with your guardians. How lucky we are to have such fine people remember us vets.
I wish you all could experience the joy you provided us old soldiers.
I salute YOU ALL
I am an army veteran who was one of many honored with a trip to Washington on Saturday, July 12th. What a wonderful experience!
I would like all of the volunteers to know that this one day excursion was First Class all the way. The breakfast and service was made to order and the assistance for the handicapped veterans was beyond compare every minute of the day.
When we arrived in Washington and walked into the terminal, the welcome and “Thank You For Your Service” by most everyone in the terminal was quite an emotional and moving experience. The tears were everywhere. As veterans, we have never been thanked for membership in the armed forces like that---- EVER. WOW!
We were driven in a beautiful new air conditioned bus to the magnificent World War II Memorial where we had the honor of meeting Senator Bob Dole, visiting the Kennedy grave site, the Iwo Jima memorial, the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery’s Unknown Soldier memorial, and a wonderful experienced tour guide who pointed out numerous heroes gravesites and their history.
All of you volunteers didn’t miss anything to make our visit FIRST CLASS all the way and I want all of you to know it must have been appreciated by all parties.
With Best Wishes to All of you,
Thanks ever so much for all your efforts to make the Honor Flight Michigan trip a most meaningful and memorable day for my dad and me. Words simply don't express the gratitude we both feel toward you and all the others involved. The amazing individuals at Honor Flight who share so selflessly of their time to make these trips a possibility.
Honor Flight Michigan’s team of volunteers are truly heroes to all the vets who have their dreams of visiting the WWII Memorial made a reality. For making my dad's dream come true I am truly grateful.
Thank you so much for all that you do!
Our three veterans from Brighton, tremendously enjoyed their trip to Washington, D.C. on Saturday. Honor Flight Michigan certainly made a positive impact on the three and they couldn't stop smiling and talking the entire drive home from the airport. Every member of your group received the highest praise from our veterans, and they were extremely glad that they traveled with your well organized and compassionate group!
Just want to thank you and your crew for the wonderful trip to D.C. to see the WW2 Memorial and other symbols of sacrifice and freedom installed there.
Without the Honor Flight, I am quite sure that most remaining Vets of WW2 would not have visited this site and witnessed the wonderful honor bestowed upon them. Most of us do not have too many years left on this earth, and by this time we take most of our living enjoyment from our memories. That's what made this trip so important since it gives us a great memory to enjoy over and over again.
We were also greatly impressed with the tender care and patience the Honor Flight Michigan crew exhibited during the whole time we were together - it was phenomenal.
Thank you again for a great trip and pleasant day. You all should also receive medals for your wonderful effort and dedication shown us Vets.
Blessings to you and those who took such good care of us.
I was on your June 7th Honor Flight Michigan. I want to express my sincere thanks for affording me the opportunity to participate in this wonderful program you have created. Even though being a very exhausting day, I truly enjoyed everything about the trip and especially the heartfelt greetings we received at both airports. Just standing at the Memorial and meeting with Bob Dole was a momentous occasion and brought back many memories.
Thanks again for all you are doing for us WWII Veterans. Sometimes it seems like we are not only the "Greatest Generation" but also the "Forgotten Generation".
Keep up the good work and express my thanks to all those who were our escorts.
Wilfred (Bill) O.