Saturday nights screening from the tech booth.
This past weekend we were honored to attend the the 10th annual Honor Flight Summit held this year in Baltimore, MD.
Honor Flights Mission: To transport America’s Veterans to Washington, DC to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and their friends.Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.
Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.
Some pictures shared with us by one of the Honor Flight Hub Leaders.
On last Friday afternoon, 'The Unknowns' Director Neal Schrodetzki and myself were able to attend a special meet and greet. We met so many of the different hubs from across our great nation, hearing many of their personal stories and of the heroes that they have helped bring to Washington D.C.
Producer Ethan Morse, SSG Shane Vincent, SPC Justin Robinson, Marlana VanHoose, Director Neal Schrodetzki and Hub Leader/Former Tomb Guard Robert Weinberg Badge #101
Saturday night before the screening of 'The Unknowns' Marlana VanHoose sang special patriotic music. Marlana was born with Cytomegalovirus (CMV), by the time she was a few weeks old it was discovered that she was blind. Her optic nerve never formed. She was not expected to live past one year. At the age of two, Marlana was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. www.littlemarlana.com
SPC Justin Robinson, Brigadier General Pat Foote and SSG Shane Vincent.
The keynote speaker before Saturday nights screening was Brigadier General Pat Foote, BG Foote served from 1959 to 1989, rising to the rank of brigadier general in 1986, and holds many firsts for women in the U.S. Army. She was the first female public relations officer in Vietnam in 1967 and the first female faculty member appointed to the U.S. Army War School in 1979. General Foote was also the first female brigade commander in Europe and the first female Inspector General in the Army in 1986. When Foote was promoted to Brigadier General in 1986, she became one of only four female generals in the U.S. Army. She was also the first female commander of Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Honor Flight Photo shared by co-founder Earl Morse.
The weekend was wonderful and getting to meet so many of the hub leaders and Honor Flight staff was truly an honor for us. I wanted to share with you a story by co-founder Earl Morse (No relation to me:-)
"I lost count how many times I was asked, "OK, what's the catch?" In January of 2005, NO ONE had heard about Honor Flight. When I tried to explain the idea, everyone was skeptical. "Let me get this right..." one son asked with an accusing voice. "You're going to gather up a bunch of 80 and 90 year old veterans and fly them across the country in small planes to Washington D.C. .... for free??? Do I have that right??" His father was scheduled to go on the flight. He loved his Dad. He didn't want him to fall prey to another scam, another shady too-good-to-be-true con. He was going to ask a LOT of questions and I better have the right answers. The right answers were the truth. "Yes Sir. That pretty much sums it up," I said. "Tomorrow morning we'll be taking off at sunrise." He thought he had me and he was ready to spring the trap. "OK. So you're going to put my dad on a plane and fly him out there. Well HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST TO FLY HIM BACK???!!!!" I took a deep breath and told him, "It's free. The flight out and the flight back, the meals, the tour bus, the tee shirts, everything is free." He still wasn't convinced so then I asked him a question. "If you had a chance to personally escort George Washington to go see his Washington Monument in Washington D.C., would you take him? If you could take Abraham Lincoln to the Lincoln Memorial, would you do it?" I answered the question for him. "Of course you would!" I went on to explain, "Your father is a World War II Veteran. He and his buddies collectively and literally saved the world! All of Europe is free, all of the Pacific is free and thank God, America is free. That just didn't happen, they MADE it happen. And we get to take them to THEIR long-awaited national memorial. It just doesn't get any better than that! THAT is why we're doing it for free." He stopped asking me questions. Please find your local Honor Flight Network hub and help them make some final dreams come true. www.honorflight.org "
Thanks for reading! If you have a question you'd like to ask a Tomb Guard, or a story you'd like to share, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in a future blog post.
Please check out our new documentary film 'The Unknowns' www.theunknownsmovie.com to get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to be a Tomb Guard, and learn some of the history behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Ethan Morse, Badge #548
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (2005-2006)