World War II veterans of our state are readying to take flight, as the nonprofit Honor Flight program in South Carolina is planning its next trip to Washington on April 21.
In 2004, a World War II Memorial for the nation’s most senior heroes was dedicated. Many of them are in their 80’s and 90’s, so travel to the site is becoming more and more difficult.
The success of the Honor Flight is dependent upon the volunteers and designated “Honor Flight Guardians” who play a significant role on every trip. They give their time and services assisting veterans during the flight and throughout the one-day trek. There are 114 Veterans and 70 Guardians scheduled to be on the next flight. The guardian group includes Vietnam veterans, four doctors, several RN’s, a dentist, and a pastor.
While many of the veterans are independent and quite capable of making the trip without assistance, others may need wheel-chair assistance and directives.
Faye Sandow signed up as a guardian for the upcoming South Carolina Honor Flight. It’s an experience she says stays with you for a long time.
You will see a lot of tears from the veterans, as well as the guardians. We’ll never know what they went through. Veterans -those that were prisoners of war, in any war, to hear them talk about that or begin to feel that they had that freedom taken from them. It’s quite moving.
Sandow is making her second trip as a guardian and she encourages others to consider it. Find out more at Honor Flight website.
Sandow says, “It’s an experience that I think if you do it once, you’ll want to do it twice.”
While you don’t need to have a direct connection to a veteran taking the trip, Sandow says she feels very connected:
I am married to a military veteran, my father was a veteran, medaled in the war, and was a bronze medal winner. There are uncles who served and my father-in-law is a retired Lieutenant Colonel. So it’s kind of in my family.
Part of me says I want to do something, or give something back to our veterans because of what they’ve done for us.
Many of the World War II veterans are independent and quite capable of making the trip without assistance. Others may need with wheel-chair assistance and support in everyday activities.
All guardians cover their own expenses by contributing $500 fee. The flights are funded for the veterans entirely by donations. The Honor Flight program would not be successful without the generous support of the guardians who play a significant role on every trip, ensuring that every veteran has a safe and memorable experience.