Honor Flight: A Tribute to Our Veterans

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Some moments in life are so beautiful that it would be a crime not to share them. Today, my mom, Diane Bobek, tells of one such experience; a chance for her to thank her dad - my grandpa - for everything he has given to his children, his family and his country. 

Please Note: This is a two-part series, so be sure to tune in next week for the conclusion.

We can't all be heroes.

Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.-Will Rogers, Honor Flight Moto

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for My Mom.jpgI don't remember when I found out my dad was in WWII; maybe junior high. Like a lot of kids I didn't acknowledge that my parents had any personal history prior to my own conscious memory of them.

Dad, Robert Janney, didn't talk about his time in the Navy during WWII until about 10 years ago. He was in his 70's at the time. Since then he has shared pictures of his ship, his shipmates, and some really adorable pictures of him.  He had a million dollar smile.

Over the last few years he has shared a multitude of stories from his years of service from October 1943-January 1946. He had just turned 17. So young to be going off to war.

When I found out about the Honor Flight I knew that it was something I wanted for my dad.  He spent his life doing so much for my mom, me and my six siblings, never asking for anything in return.  I saw this as a rare opportunity to do something very special for him.

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Dad, second from the left

The Honor Flight mission statement tugged at my heart.

Transport America's veterans to Washington, DC to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

Their top priority is given to America's most senior heroes -- survivors of World War II and any veteran with a terminal illness who wishes to visit THEIR memorial.

I applied in late summer 2010; we got the call in January 2011.  He was scheduled for April 5th.

THE day finally arrived; up at 4 a.m., to the airport by 5 a.m.  There were 87 vets in matching blue Honor Flight T-shirts and caps, and 95 others, the guardians - usually one assigned to each vet, a nurse and support members of the Honor Flight organization in our matching green T-shirts. Departure was around 7:30 a.m.

The day was filled with so many memorable and touching moments, the first of which was a salute by two of the DC airport fire engines. Our plane taxied between the fire engines and under a canopy of water, to our gate. A big group from the USO was at the gate, cheering and shaking the hands of the veterans, one by one; thanking them for their service. 

Random applause broke out as we moved through the terminal and out to the busses. The first time it happened, I looked around to see what was going on, surprised that it was directed at our group. Everywhere we went we were treated like VIP's.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK...

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The story of Honor Flight is heartwarming and can be found by clicking here.

My Next Blog > "Honor Flight: A Tribute to Our Veterans - Part II"

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