In a few days, the #OldOld Man will be flying with many of his fellow World War II vets to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials from their war. They will be helped on the flight, have full medical staff available at all times, be driven around, and get three squares and a cot.
The cost: free
Not that he couldn’t afford it, but for several of his fellow veterans, it’s not so easy to get around. Between aches and pains and meds and, for some, oxygen tanks, it’s not a simple trip. That’s not to mention the effort it would take to get several World War II vets together for anything anymore. Time is simply going too fast.
The trip is made possible by Honor Flight, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps veterans honor their comrades-in-arms at their respective national war memorials .
It’s an opportunity for those like the OldOld Man to gets to hang out with fellow World War II vets, again. They’ll get to swap stories, talk about their adventures. He’ll get to see how good he had it in both theatres. He’ll get to hear how close was was to the edge. He’ll get to learn just how many people like him there still are out there.
Check out this video about Honor Flight
My aunt is going with him as a guardian. She has to pay a small guardian fee, but otherwise she’s good to go.
Like I said, for the vets, the trip is free. I’m sure they wish they could send everyone for free, but they’re a non-profit. Their resources can only stretch so far.
How did the OldOld Man find out about Honor Flight
He was told about it by his buddy, Old Man Edwards, during one of their road trips through Duneland. Sadly, Old Man Edwards got sick and wasn’t able to go. OldOld Man Finn thought about waiting, but if World War II taught them anything it’s that time is short. Hopefully, Old Man Edwards heals up to go sometime soon.
There are regional networks set up throughout the country to plan the flights
For example, since the Chicago location had a pretty lengthy wait time, the OldOld Man was able to apply and go out via The Honor Flight of Greater Lafayette (IN) [Purdue University area].
How to apply for Honor Flight
The way my family did it, they went to the Honor Flight application page on their website, found at honorflight.org/veteran-application. From there, my mama filled out the application, with help from my sister, my aunts, and, of course, the OldOld Man. He then signed it and my mama & sister emailed them off. Honor Flight was even helpful in helping him switch locations to Lafayette.
My mama didn’t have his veteran documentation off-hand. It didn’t seem to be an issue. Looks like they helped up with the rest of it.
Part of the trip includes a ceremony where one of the activities is a “mail call” for the soldiers
They recreate the mail call as in their bunker days during the war. They call out the soldier and hand him his mail.
Where does the mail come from?
It comes from loved ones like us who mailed them in. Katie & I finished our letters tonight for the OldOld Man. Here was the address we used:
PO BOX 275
Lafayette, IN 47902
Now, we had to have the letters in by the 20th of October, which means I’ll be overnighting them Monday morning.
Yes. You can write to soldiers in general
Find an Honor Flight near where you want to contribute, get their address, and start writing.
The final drafts we wrote for the OldOld Man are already sealed and ready to be mailed off for his mail call. Here was its gist of my letter to him.
“Hey-on, OldOld Man Finn,
“I have to confess I stole your ‘”very trying” joke (see what I did there?). I use it out here a lot. It’s new to the Californians.
“I get to be here, stealing bad jokes, because of what you did over there. Over there with millions from your generation, forced to use your lives to make a stand while dreaming of Moonlight Serenades back home.
“Here’s another incentive to make more trip to California: we thought we’d let you know that when we’re lucky enough to expand our Finn name and if ever it is a boy, we will be naming him after you. You’ll have to come meet him. And we’ll try to find you a bingo game or two while you’re out here.
“Please thank your partners-in-arm for us the same way we thank you now: by using “very trying jokes” to make you smile.
“Till the next adventure, sir.
Does Honor Flight help Korean War vets or vets of other wars fly for free.
From what we were told, they’re doing more and more flights for the Korean War as, sadly, time marches on. There is some stuff on the website for it
For more information on Honor Flight:
Anyone know vets who’ve used Honor Flight?
If so, let me know. I’d love to hear the stories.