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Letter: Honor Flight Program is great way to thank veterans

Honor Flight Program is great way to thank veterans

My husband and I were pleased and impressed with the coverage of the Honor Flight Program in the Nov. 11 News. My father, Arthur J. Dean, was the first person from Genesee County to participate in Honor Flight in September 2008. Men from all over the United States flew on his flight. At that time neither Buffalo nor Rochester had an Honor Flight chapter, even though he flew out of Rochester. Therefore, his flight was designated “Lone Eagle.”

My father was tremendously touched by the efforts of the Honor Flight staff and, as his chaperone, I too was deeply affected by the professional and very personal interactions of the staff and the men themselves. The staff took so much care to anticipate and cover any need any of the veterans might have had. Seldom was there a dry eye on the whole trip. We were met by Sen. Bob Dole at the World War II Memorial, visited Arlington and the Iwo Jima Monument.

Even though my father had previously never spoken of his war experience, when he returned to Corfu he talked constantly of the trip to anyone close to him. He even spoke at the Attica Lions Club and the Attica Historical Society. He always teared up when he spoke of “the best trip of my life.”

My father died in 2010 at the age of 92. Since then, my husband and I have sponsored an Honor Flight participant in his name every year. We would encourage veterans to sign up for a trip. We further would encourage people to consider sponsoring a veteran for this wonderful experience. We need to send them now, while they are still with us. What better way to say thank you to all those who have fought for our freedom!

Sally Dean June