Elaine Housley, New Outlook Board Director, took an honor flight trip to Washington DC with a plane full of veterans on Thursday, November 3, 2022. It was the 118th trip for the Honor Flight Columbus organization.
Stops in Washington DC included:
Marine Corps War Memorial – Imo Jima
Air Force Memorial
World War II Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, including changing of the guard ceremony
I escorted two Vietnam era veterans: Ronnie Workman and Bob Snyder
Included in the trip were 83 veterans, 43 guardians, and 27 staff (including medical staff, bus drivers, and multiple Battelle members who were covering the cost of the trip.
We met at the airport at 6am and experienced a delay in taking our flight due to heavy fog. Upon arrival at the Washington DC airport, we were split into three buses to take us to the various sites. Return flight landed around 8:30pm to a huge crowd of well-wishers thanking the vets for their time in the military. At the Columbus airport, we were met by a band and many, many family members and friends.
We never ran out of food or drink with three full meals and multiple snacks throughout the day.
Although it was mentioned during the training of the “guardians” we were supposed to keep our veterans close, keep them safe, and make sure that no one got hurt or lost. I personally had over 12,500 steps on my odometer when I got on the flight home. Lots of walking to see the various sites.
The crowds that greeted us at the airports and the stops during the trip were quite large.
We had told to prepare for wet or cold weather but we were greeted by “sweater weather” and sunshine allowing us to also see the autumn foliage in the area. Although the walks and steps took some effort, we had enough time to stop and see most of each of the locations, walk through the areas around the various facilities, and occasionally rest during our walks.
I would encourage all veterans to make this trip, if possible. If you’re not a veteran, please consider becoming a guardian taking care of a couple of the veterans on the flight. It’s an unforgettable experience.