Veterans Honor Flight
By Nancy Porter
Honor Flight is a program that
takes veterans from their home area to Washington, DC on a free trip to
visit the memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifice.
California hasn’t done these flights for a few years and veterans
groups are finding that a lot of the older veterans either can’t fly
the long distances or don’t want to be gone from home. A group in
Florida took this information and put together a Virtual experience for
veterans. They were great to share with northern California.
May 17, Sacramento area veterans and
service organizations put together one of these Virtual Honor Flights
for our veterans here. It was the first of its kind in
California. Forty or more veterans arrived at the Church of the
Foothills in Cameron Park on a rainy Friday morning. They came in
private vehicles and buses from retirement homes, each being met by an
assigned younger veteran who was their guide for the day.
After some visiting time, the veterans
and guides went through “security” staffed by Sacramento TSA
agents. They were then each escorted through cheering crowds of
adults and students, arriving in the church hall that would serve as
their airport waiting area. Breakfast snacks were served and lap
The veterans were then treated to
speeches from a well-known local MC, a Southwest Airlines pilot and
others as they also watched a film showing the view from the plane
going into Washington, DC and tours of the monuments. Lunch was
served by area high school students and others. Veterans also had
photos taken with a Green Screen background; later they will receive
photos with a background of the event. After lunch, the veterans
went back into the social hall for the “return flight”. All left
the event with large goodie bags and big smiles.
Local World War II-era vehicles were
also on display. Dave Porter brought his GTB and GPW.
Dennis Deck and Scott Tanis were also there with their jeeps for the
day and available to the veterans and their families for photos.
It was so great to see the smiles from veterans, families and others at the event. Very memorable!!
By the way, all the local Sacramento
TV stations were there, too. Channel 31 and the local CBS station
were there almost all day. Here’s a link to one of the videos: https://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/05/17/el-dorado-county-veterans-virtual-honor-flight/