'Honor Flight' an experience like no other

Special showing at Ohio Veterans Home: The documentary that details journey of life and remembrance of service. See photos.
Tom Jackson
Apr 6, 2013

Ohio Veterans Home resident Bud Walters, 85, was moved when he took an Honor Flight in 2010 to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a wonderful experience, best one I ever had in my life,” said Walters, who served in the Navy from 1950-54. “You sure shed some tears when you go to those memorials.”

Another Honor Flight recipient, OVH resident and Army Air Corps veteran Jim Berigan, 85, went about three years ago and was also impressed.

“I didn’t realize people would cheer and clap and greet you the way they did,” he said.

He said the veterans on the trip received that kind of reception everywhere they went.

“The airports, the restaurants, the monuments. There was no end to it all day long,” he said.

A new movie, “Honor Flight,” has been released about the program that flies veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II Memorial and other memorials. It’s being screened at the ongoing Cleveland Film Festival.

Stein Hospice and the Ohio Veterans Home have teamed up to make free showings of the film available to local residents, with Stein ponying up the fee and OVH providing the venue. Ron Brooks, a registered nurse who works with veterans at Stein Hospice, has accompanied veterans on three Honor Flights, and he’s working to help three local veterans get on a flight.

For certain branches of the Armed Services, certain memorials are particularly important, he said. 

“Our Marines absolutely adore going to the Iwo Jima Memorial,” he said.

Vietnam veterans are particularly moved by the Vietnam Memorial, he said. 

The trip includes watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Brooks said.

“We have a box seat, you might say, for that,” he said.

Veterans receive a commemorative T-shirt, and some choose to be buried wearing the shirt, Brooks said.

Julie Yeager, director of Veterans Services at Stein Hospice, said she heard about the movie from the Hospice Veterans Partnership of Ohio, which seeks ways to help veterans at the end of life, honor them and bring them peace.

She said 55 students from Perkins High School will be bussed in to watch the movie with veterans at the Ohio Veterans Home.

Comments

bayshore

Wonderful article. I too have been a guardian on three flights as an escort for two WW II and two Korean veterans. Sharing the day with the veteran and witnessing the outpouring of gratitude was amazing. I can only imangine what it meant for them.

The article mentions the film but doesn't give any information on when it will be shown or how to obtain a ticket or pass to attend.

I would hope you will consider adding the State theater as another venue to show the film in conjunction with a fundraiser to benefit the Cleveland and Toledo Honor Flight programs.

bayshore

Check out the website for the Toledo Honor Flight to view the video of the homecoming celebration for the all Vietnam veteran flight that flew in October 2012. www.honorflightnwo.org

samiam

The Honor Flight program is a wonderful program to honor our military veterans for their service. As the child, spouse and parent of veterans, I would love to partake in one of these trips.

I would like to know when this film will be shown at OVH. If this is before the May election, I can't help but wonder if having "55 students from Perkins High School bussed in to watch the movie with veterans at the Ohio Veterans Home" is an attempt to influence the vote of the OVH residents to approve the two school levies.

Erie County Resident

Really samiam.
This has nothing to do with any levies.

It is about our veterens service to this country and giving them some of the respect they deserve. My dad served in WWII and went on one of these Honor Flights about 3 years ago with a group from our hometown. It really touched him and his fellow vets to experience this.

The students going there to see this with the OVH vets will be a very good learning experience for all of them and has nothing to do with campaigning.

samiam

Yes, really erie county resident. I know what the purpose of these flights are. Unfortunately I lost my dad before this program started. I'm sure he would have loved to go on one. And I agree, it can be a wonderful learning experience.

I'm not saying the purpose of the film has anything to do with campaigning or levies. And it shouldn't. But it has happened in the past where the students make a big push to go over and make sure the residents know "how important this levy is to the future of our students". Just wanting to make sure it doesn't happen with this.

CAPNTIM50

@samiam
Just for your information, you cannot do ANY campaigning on ANY government property, IE, State, County or Federal. This includes speeches, campaign signs, rallys, etc. It's against the law here in Ohio.

Kelly

What a ridiculous suggestion. It couldn't possibly be because of the historical significance, right? Sheesh!

Ehovemom

What a wonderful honor to take these veterans on these trips and what a wonderful idea to enable them to see the movie. My father was a resident and there are students there all the time, especially choirs at Christmas. I think it is a great idea to have students view the film and I don't think that there are any ulterior motives in having them watch it with the vets.

senioritis

I doubt any attempt to influence the vote of the OVH residents. I think it is more about having students learn from these experiences shown in the video.

your babies Daddy's picture
your babies Daddy

The Guardian is the highest honor I have ever achieved. It truly was and is one of the greatest moments of my life..

2cents's picture
2cents

Great article. Thank you to all our vets!