Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Grandpa Goes to Washington

Dane went with Percy, Staff Sergent Donald Schofield, on the Honor Flight to see the WWII Memorial.  Since Grandpa had fallen and cracked his tail bone he was moving a little slow.  With the help of drugs and a wheel chair he was set to go and be honored with the other 85 WWII Veterans from Montana. Everything was super organized and ready for the whirlwind trip.  I took them at 5:30 Sunday morning to the airport.  They fed them breakfast and finally got everyone boarded and on their way at 8 AM!  After a 3 hour direct flight to Washington DC they arrived to a wonderful heroes welcome. 

Bands, boy scout troopes and these little sailors.  They were very impressed and touched.

Their first stop was the Washington monument.  Since the government was on shut down they couldn't get very close but no one was going to stop "the veterans."

The capital building on the way to the hotel.  That evening Grandpa and Dane meet up with Layne, Pam and Morgan for dinner instead of going to the banquet and eating chicken.

The next morning they were up early and went to the WWII memorial.  Police tried to stop the buses from parking and moving the barriers but by the time they got it worked out the vets were getting off the buses.  It took a while to unload all the wheelchairs from the 3 buses.

Senator Bacus with Grandpa was one of the dignitaries that meet the group along with Senator Tester and  Congressman Daines.  They made little speeches and welcomed them all.

Grandpa and some of his new 85 friends.

They visited the Iwo Jima memorial
The Viet Nam memorial and wall.
 The tomb of the unknown soldier with the changing of the guards.  Very somber and reverent feeling.  These young men that are the guards do the changing every 30 minutes, rain or shine 365 days of the year.  These men take an oath to never swear or drink alcohol for the rest of their lives.
The Korean War memorial
Then they loaded them back up and flew them home to a wonderful welcome of about 300 + people with lots of flags, a band, bagpipers and lots of cheering. Gone just 38 hours.

It was a fast fun exciting trip for them both.  Thanks for your service Grandpa, we love you and so glad you were brave and safe, we honor and love you!

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