[Updated: May 8, 2018 | Published: May 6, 2018]
On Saturday, April 7, four Friendship Village of Dublin veterans had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the D.C. monuments created to memorialize their service to our country. Organized by Honor Flight Columbus, a local organization that’s flown more than 5,000 veterans to our nation’s capital, the trip was intended to thank them for the sacrifices they’ve made.
Overall, 84 retired veterans flew to Washington, D.C. free of charge — including FVD residents Dave Keller, Joe Pehoushek, Dick Hacker and Bill Miller. In addition to the veterans, more than 60 volunteers also attended to ensure they had the experience they deserved.
After arriving in D.C., they were welcomed by active Army, Navy and Air Force members and were escorted to visit WWII, Korea and Vietnam Memorials. They also visited Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard Ceremony.
“It was a fantastic trip,” said Dick Hacker, who served in the Army during the Korean War. “It was a real tear-jerker.”
Upon returning to Columbus, they were greeted with continued fanfare. Hundreds of relatives, friends and school children met and thanked them for their service as they left the terminal. Among the crowd were FVD residents and their families eager to recognize and honor those who have served our country.
The FVD residents were also greeted by reporters from 10TV and This Week Dublin, who covered their return and quoted our residents about their experiences. You can watch the 10TV story and read the This Week Dublin article.
“We all agreed it was an emotion-filled day that we will remember for a long, long time,” said Bill, echoing the remarks of other veterans.
The next Columbus Honor Flight leaves on Sept. 8 and the deadline to sign up is May 10. If you’re a veteran at FVD interested in attending, you can sign up in the program book, fill out a brief application and give it to Resident Services. Any veteran can also apply by visiting Honor Flight Columbus.
“Every Veteran should have an Honor Flight on their bucket list. Especially because FVD makes it so easy for us to attend,” said previous flight participant Dick Goetz. “No matter what your physical condition, you’ll receive personal care from door to door. It’s a day you’ll never forget.”