On Thursday, December 19th, a very special group of individuals came together in the Ballroom of the Rancho Resort Clubhouse. This group was comprised of World War II veterans, each of whom had the opportunity to attend their ‘Honor Flight’ to Washington, D.C. The Honor Flight Network, which is the non-profit organization behind the flights, works to “transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials.”
Made up of those who attended both the June and October 2013 flights, the group of veterans came together again following their trip to share photos and memories, both of the trip itself and of the events commemorated at the memorials they just had the opportunity to visit. One hundred veterans total took one of the two flights; twenty-seven of which were able to attend the reunion event at Rancho Resort. Another forty veterans attended a similar affair in Tucson.
Designed to give first priority for the free trip to World War II Veterans, many of which are in their 90’s, the all expense 3-day trip provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most. Judi Anderson, who is a resident of Rancho Resort and has served as a volunteer guardian for several of the flights, helped to organize the reception and to bring the veterans to Sahuarita. Proud to assist these men and women complete what will be for most “their last mission”, Anderson is dedicated to telling the story of Honor Flight and of the incredible gift it gives to those who so deserve.
She commented on her involvement saying, “Being surrounded by WWII veterans and hearing their stories not only brings history to life, but it shows the extreme compassion these men and women had and still have for their comrades and country…truly the “Greatest Generation”…it gives me great joy to get to know these heroes through our Honor Flight events.”
Carol Haynes, Clubhouse manager of Rancho Resort, also spoke of the Honor Flight and of the reception event hosted at the community saying, “For myself, I can only say how humble I felt holding the door open for these wonderful people. The whole event was so moving.”