“This weekend our family drove four hours to welcome Honor Flight Columbus home,” said Monica Boyer of Warsaw. “My grandpa (Bob Haney), a local Winona Lake WWII vet, was on the flight with his two brothers. This experience was life-changing and I wanted to share snippets with you.”
Boyer provided the video and explained that it is shaky because she was crying. “Men came out of the elevator, faces wet with tears. Many had never been welcomed home before,” she said. “My grandpa, Bob Haney’s face, was beaming from ear to ear. As you see, children shaking these heroes hands. Tons of stories, tons of memories … an amazing day. I will be back to welcome these heroes any chance I get. Thank you for letting me share this with you.”
Boyer also provided this open letter to a veteran:
Today I am thinking about you as you take the Columbus Honor Flight to our nation’s capital. I thought I would get farther into this letter without tears. Unfortunately they are streaming down my face as I am flooded with so many emotions of gratefulness.
I can imagine your flight path, looking out your plane window, seeing the first glimpses of the most incredible heroes that our nation has ever known. Heroes that with God’s gracious wisdom, gave us the most incredible document ever penned on a piece of parchment paper.
Our Bill of Rights.
I imagine as your plane flies over the monuments, that you have the same overwhelming emotions that I did just a few months ago as I walked the path you are about to walk. No words could ever encapsulate those emotions. Pure, unashamed pride and love for this incredible nation.
It didn’t become an incredible and free nation just because a president said so, or wrote an executive order declaring it as such. It became an incredible nation because of the sacrifice and blood given by heroes and selfless men such as you.
Grampie, as I look around my country, I don’t recognize it anymore. I see freedom slipping through my children’s fingers. I want you to know, I commit with every fiber of my being that I will not let that happen on my watch. I promise you I will not give up. I will honor your sacrifice until I draw my last breath because America is worth fighting for.
When you fly over our national monuments, take a breath and take it all in. Go ahead and let the emotion take over. I am sure I embarrassed the entire family the last time I flew over the Lincoln Memorial and circled the Washington Monument as I wept. I’m sure folks shook their heads when I stood at Abe Lincoln’s feet and promised him, I would never give up this country without a fight.
Enjoy your trip Grampie, and know this… I am so thankful for your service and fight for my freedom. I could never re-pay you.
On this Honor Flight, Grampie, I honor you, and I love you.
Boyer noted this morning that Congressman Marlin Stutzman had a U.S. flag flown over our nation’s capitol on Saturday in honor of Haney.