Nearly 100 US veterans boarded a Washington D.C.-bound plane early yesterday morning. The transport, which is dubbed an Honor Flight, carried World War II and Korean War veterans to Arlington Cemetary so they could salute their fallen friends during the changing of the guard.
The US military started the Honor Flight program back in 2005 as a way of celebrating the men and women who fought for our freedoms. During the past 16 years, over 200K decorated ex-service members have taken the trip to the capitol. However, with the Covid pandemic, the program had to postpone its trips. The flight from San Diego marked the first in two years.
Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipients aged 85-104 years old filled the seats. After witnessing the guard change, the veterans will visit the World War II, Lincoln, Korea, Vietnam, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and Women in Service for America Memorials. The group will also stop by the Navy Yard and National Electronics Museums.
When the soldiers return, they will be greeted by saluting active service members and a crowd of up to 800 civilians. If any Outsiders are in the area, they’re welcome to stop by to welcome the veterans home. The ceremony will be held at the San Diego International Airport on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 2:45 p.m.
96-Year-Old World War II Veteran’s Dream Came True in a 1940s Biplane
Massar worked as an aircraft mechanic during the war. As he told Fox News, he had Macgyver-like abilities. And he could fix anything.
“I could fix Stearmans with rubber bands and Band-Aids,” he said.
The flight reconnected the veteran with his true passion for life. And being back in the same plane he worked on eight decades ago was a rush.
“I’ve flown in a lot of commercial and military airplanes,” Massar told volunteers with Dream Flights. “I felt more alive and like I was closer to God than ever in my life today in this Stearman. I could feel it.”
Dream Flights added some extra flair when the pilot took the plane by Massar’s home. As the veteran explained, the pilot “put the wing” of the plane “right over” his house “and made a turn around it.”
Once Massar’s feet were back on the ground, he made sure to tell the organization just how much he appreciated its gesture.
“Thank you, thank you, and God bless you for what you are doing,” he said. “I really appreciate it.”