Honor Flight Enhances Local Teen’s Perspective
Maya Brown, an 18 year-old Club member at the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, had the privilege to attend an Honor Flight after being awarded Youth of the Year. Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Shamsher Singh, Maya was part of an amazing experience where she was guardian to a Korean War Veteran.
Maya stated the following about her life enhancing experience:
“I knew from previous Boys & Girls Club members that attending Honor Flight would be an amazing experience. So I was extremely excited when awarded the opportunity from Dr. Singh. I was even excited to attend training at 6am the week prior to the trip. During training we learned about what we would experience and watched a video on how the honor flight started. The video showed both a Veteran and a guardian going through the experience. The guardian had lost both of his legs overseas and was wearing prosthetics. Despite his disability he felt compelled to assist these Veterans in their trips because he knew how much it meant to them.
One special moment from the trip was visiting the Korean war memorial, because this was the war that Bill, my Veteran, was drafted into and the visit was really special for him. This was the last stop of a long day of walking for Bill. I wasn’t sure that we were going to make it as Bill was tired. I offered to push Bill in a wheelchair the rest of the way and gave him my jacket so he wouldn’t be cold. As I pushed him in that wheel chair with the wind blowing directly against us it started to sprinkle. In that moment I thought if I couldn’t do anything else, I had to make sure Bill saw the memorial before it started to pour. And that is exactly what happened. We got to the memorial, took a couple of pictures and then it started to pour down rain. We were both relieved and happy that the rain held off long enough for us to finish our agenda.
This experience taught me more about history and of the different wars. I learned things that was not taught in school. I also enjoyed my time with my veteran, Bill. He was kind, funny and made me think of what I would be like when I grow older.”
The Honor Flights transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices. Southeast Florida Honor Flight, a 100% volunteer organization, is one of the many hubs dedicated to honoring WWII Veterans by flying them to Washington, DC to visit their memorial at absolutely no cost to the veteran. Formed in 2008 to originally service Florida’s Treasure Coast, our hub has grown to include the following counties: Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee, and Palm Beach.
Every trip is escorted by a team of well-trained volunteers and guardians, who personally accompany this elite group of visitors on the aircraft and to their memorial. The volunteers and guardians pay their own way ensuring that 100% of the proceeds go to the mission. A Guardian serves as a trained, traveling companion to our Honor Flight participants, who are all aged in the upper 80’s and 90’s. Guardians are essential to the success of every Honor Flight. Without these patriotic volunteers we would not be able to carry out the dreams of so many veterans, enabling them to see the memorials built in their honor. To learn more about Southeast Florida Honor Flight, become a guardian or donate, visit www.honorflightsefl.org.