|By Carmelo Turdo|
Mr. Robert Graves, Flight Leader, and Mrs. Dayna Bischoff from the Daughters of the American Revolution discussed the need to support this worthy endeavor. Mr. Bob Rockford, a veteran from a recent Honor Flight, described his experiences to the group. Since its inception in 2009, the GSLHF has flown twenty-two Honor Flights with more than 550 veterans. There are currently eight flights scheduled for this year, and more are desired.
Each mission begins around 3:00am, with each veteran assigned a guardian prior to boarding a Southwest Airlines flight to Baltimore Airport. Typically, the veterans are recognized by the crew and passengers as they board the aircraft. Upon arrival, a busy day begins. The veterans and their guardians tour the war memorials on the National Mall, culminating at the World War II Memorial. Often Bob or Elizabeth Dole greet the veterans there as they arrive. A visit to Arlington national Cemetary to witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a moving experience. "Mail Call," the highlight of any soldier's day, is also part of the agenda, with packets of letters provided by family and even strangers distributed to the veterans. The group returns to St. Louis late into the evening to a crowd of family members and well-wishers as they deplane.
Please visit the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight at http://www.gslhonorflight.org/ and contribute your time and resources to this worthy mission!