Last Thursday my dad, Dave, came to town. He arrived with my older brother, Bob, on an “Honor Flight” from Wisconsin with a plane load of veterans from WWII, the Korean and Vietnam wars. Honor Flights are arranged by the Honor Flight Network, a non-profit formed to recognize veterans for their service to the nation. They do this with a full day program of visits to memorials around the city, and return them home the same day to a crowd of fans.
My dad (second from the left in the back) served in the Navy aboard the USS Everglades in the Korean War. He and my mom, Shirley, had just eloped before he reported to duty. Bob was able to find a hat from the ship for dad to wear on the trip.
I rode my bike down to meet them at the WWII memorial on a perfectly sunny day. There were throngs of tourists and a group of children who had made cards thanking them for their service. They had lunch on the bus while touring around and I followed them on my bike to the Korean War Memorial.
The best part is that I was able to join my dad here in Washington, DC on this momentous occasion. Thanks to Bob and my younger brother, Mike and my mom for making it happen.
On the way home they had a mail call. Friends and family had sent letters and cards in advance which were handed out on the plane to remind them how much these letters meant to them while at war. Upon their arrival, they were met with a crowd of cheering fans. It all seems fitting on this Memorial Day weekend. I am grateful for his safe return.