The Honor Flight is welcoming in another class of heroes

Bill Michaels
Thursday, May 18th

05/18/17: For the third straight year, Bill will be participating in the Stars and Stripes of the Honor Flight this weekend. Paula Nelson, President of the Honor Flight, has details on how YOU can be involved.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Deviate away from sports for a minute and I asked to you to bear with me but very very special event coming up this Sunday and we have the honor flight. That is coming out of a Milwaukee. Whether it's World War II venter Korean that in Vietnam that this is my honor to take it the the third one. And two and again this year you can hear a lot of these interviews coming up on Memorial Day show has brought you by great midwest bank for over eighty years simply local the end by. The Marshall clinic and don't just live. Shine joining us now the president of the stars and stripes honor flight Paula Nelson. Paula how you do and I'm excited for this I always love this and I would try to explain the emotions to people but this is always fantastic is an. It sure is we're excited looking forward to Sunday as well. So. I know that says it still gets a huge turnout for the veterans but do you guys have now opened things up a little bit to the Vietnam veterans as well. We have just a few weeks ago we announced that we're now accepting Vietnam veteran applications fell. Where we're thrilled to be able to take that step with the organization. These criteria whether your World War I Korean War or Vietnam vet did as a criteria change for each veteran is just depend on the availability. Met the criteria really doesn't change a whole lot it's just to whether or not they served during the gates as established by the department of veterans. Services so we followed their dates. And anybody who served during that time is is welcome to have their honor flight. We know that they didn't get a choice often in in where they went what job they had and and they were all important. So so we're happy to honor all of those veterans. We every year it always amazes me you gimme some great gas and you say OK maybe this person that person might be willing to talk. I always find it amazing for some of the people that they really don't want to talk. But eventually along the way they start to open up once they get there or maybe to somebody else that served in the same area that they did or something the stories are just fantastic aren't that. They are made they do naturally flow once you get two of the tour more of them together. Is this story just come out and they they identify each other eater either hack door you know just even asking each other the rancher where they served are ready trained. Can start a whole conversation. I have been I'd mentioned this a couple of times this week and I've been asked by numerous people. That wanna be there on Sunday evening about what time keen is their proximity is to win we might be back. Well I we're expecting the land is somewhere between 815 an 830 on Sunday night but as you know the air park gets very crowded. So coming a couple of hours early generally we faced 6 o'clock horse show. Because of concerns some construction at the airport it's going to be set up just a little bit different but our volunteers will be there can help people through that. The parade lines can be a little bit different but again. It's they checked in with anybody in those bright yellow shirts. The outer quite sure it's going to be happy to have to help them in get them in the best area to greet their veteran. Doing this with these veterans these people that have served what is because you've done so many of these what is. What what what would catch you what what makes it's so surreal for you. Well for mean. I come from a little bit of a military family might get those forward to elect three Brothers to serve in Vietnam's getting to this point it. Is really a special for me but. Knowing that we are. Taking some of these actions at a point where they're feeling lonely. Left out. Unappreciated. And giving them back to that purpose and their life no matter how long they have no matter how many days after their honored by I I think that that feeling of appreciation and love gratitude. Stayed with until they're very last day and that is the reward. Yeah I I I'm always said it to go into the monuments is fantastic and it is a different experience depending on the branch of service in which you served and in also the year in which you served if you're going to Vietnam wall of the Korean wall are. Over the world war two and everybody wants to see you know Kilroy in Wisconsin I understand all that. Voight is there is something unbelievable when you enter the gates Portland isn't there now. It's when you play that music man it's just manage its heart wrenching. Yeah it is and it and it is. They all want to remember somebody that. They don't have with us anymore that they lost and the war have lost hands to war. And it is day it is. So important that we take that moment in just remember those that really truly sacrificing given. So people wanna be a part of it and be for the welcoming committee which is always huge you so much fun and you goosebumps every time I I do every time I think about it and start getting to the airport around 6 o'clock in the flight may be anywhere from 830 to 930 depending on delays in such I know. One year we had have we got our wheelchairs screwed up and everybody had the site for those back off again. Our Matt I was on that fight I don't mind you know I got a chance to sit and jealous some of these guys I mean that's. You know what is the coolest thing for me as well is mail call and explain to people that have never really has user experiences or know exactly what honor flight does. Mail call is always a very special time. Yeah and that you know it is the most of the veterans know about it but even when. That they when it happens to them even if they've known about it before. When they get their own personal packet of mail from. Family members so we go behind the scenes and ask a family member to gather cards and letters and forward them to us. Just letting that veteran know what they've meant to amend their life thanking them for their service what are mantra they've banned role model whatever that message is. And many of them come from schoolchildren thanking of veterans for their service and our freedom. It is very special when they get their area alone that they get a letter from their kids. A long time since somebody's actually sat down in Britain you know I love you matter work. You know as my uncle you taught me how to you know maintain my car whatever silly things there are it's so special that they get handwritten letter and I know. Personally from some of the veterans that I've gotten to know over the years. They will read those letters over and over and over in the years six top. You did tell letters from senators from the governor. One of the events that I took said while we have a limited amount of feeling their own Arizona which they actually in the flying infamous which was extremely cool. But the fact that people that he had not even remember. All of a sudden popped up in and the Phillies do such a great job and whining all the sell stuff up so it's going to take place this Sunday. And then obviously a lot of interviews are we doing this flight well then here are on a Memorial Day show but Paul I tell you what it's always an honor for you'd even ask me sent thank you so much. And I we'll see you on sun I'm really looking for your. Thank you so much so we appreciate your support. Absolutely Paula Paula Nelson president of the stars stripes honor flight joining us for a couple of minutes. On the Schneider orange hot line you.