Today is a very special day as we honor the service and sacrifice of our country’s veterans. For more than 200 years, these vets have selflessly served for the protection and betterment of our country. They deserve our respect, honor, recognition, and support. A few years ago, I came across an organization that helps pay tribute to the remaining WWII veterans and give them the homecoming they deserve.
Each year, a program called HonorAir Knoxville takes WWII and Korean War veterans from East Tennessee to the World War II Memorial in Washington DC. This memorial was built some 60 years after WWII ended, and for many of our veterans who served in WWII, this is their first time to see it. Their Web site states, “Over 60 years ago a remarkable generation of Americans joined forces to protect civilization in the largest war in world history. No amount of gratitude could ever repay the debt for the gift of democracy these veterans gave the world. However, HonorAir Knoxville is dedicated to honoring East Tennessee World War II and Korean War veterans and the sacrifices they made to ensure our freedoms.”
HonorAir Knoxville, orchestrated by Eddie Mannis of Prestige Cleaners, takes groups of veterans and their guardians on a one-day trip to Washington where they tour the different memorials. When they fly back, McGhee Tyson Airport is flooded with supportive family, friends, and members of the community, waving flags and cheering. Having attended this homecoming myself, I can attest to what a powerful message this sends to our vets, many of which had returned home from the war with change in their pocket and no celebration of their arrival.
Watch this heartwarming video on one recent trip by HonorAir Knoxville.
The next flight is scheduled for April 18, 2012.
If you know a veteran from WWII or the Korean War living in Knox, Anderson, or Blount County who would like to attend this trip for free, please download the Veteran Application Form. This trip is funded by individuals throughout our community, and donations are accepted in any amount. It costs $500 to send each veteran on this trip, and 100% of the administrative costs are covered by Prestige Cleaners, ensuring that all donations made go directly toward the cost of the trip. If you would like to support this tremendous service for our vets, you can donate by visiting HonorAir Knoxville.
At Homecare Advocate, we are proud of all of our veterans who are and have served our country. Also, we are grateful for people like Eddie Mannis who see an opportunity to give something back to these individuals. We hope that you enjoy one of the many ceremonies taking place across our country today and have an opportunity to shake a veteran’s hand and express your gratitude.
“In times of war and peace alike, our veterans have served with courage and distinction in the face of tremendous adversity, demonstrating an unfaltering commitment to America and our people. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the country they loved. The selflessness of our service members is unmatched, and they remind us that there are few things more fundamentally American than doing our utmost to make a difference in the lives of others.” –President Obama