With American and military flags flapping in the breeze and hundreds of cheering well-wishers, the fourth Myrtle Beach Honor Flight rolled to a stop on the tarmac Wednesday night. Eighty-eight tired but exuberant WWII veterans, their guardians and Honor Flight support staff exited the US Airways chartered plane to a welcome home ceremony fit for military’s finest. It was the culmination of a long day to and from Washington, D.C., to present yet another group of the Grand Strand’s WWII veterans to their beautiful memorial and other memorials honoring our military.
It was discovered by many during the flight home that our oldest veteran on board was born in 1918. Our “baby” veteran was born in 1929. I remember asking one veteran how he stayed so young and alive. He said that every day he believed he had something to do tomorrow. Well said, my friend.
Knowing I am omitting many individuals, special thanks go to Walter and Angela Kollet, who spend untold hours coordinating every facet of these trips, the staff at Myrtle Beach International Airport, WPDE and The Sun News for your dedicated coverage and support for this program, and to all of Honor Flight Myrtle Beach’s support volunteers, without whom this program would not exist. Special thanks go to every individual who has donated to the program, shown up at fundraisers, and furthered our efforts to identify these WWII veterans and honor them for their bravery, courage, and heroism. God bless each and every one of you. It was an honor to be with you, share your stories and solemn moments with you and experience the flight of a lifetime.
The writer is a coordinator for Honor Flight Myrtle Beach.