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Operation Welcome Home

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OWH Memo #5

Happy early Veterans Day to all the veterans reading this. It is always great to see the recognition that veterans receive this time of the year. From school programs, parades, and free meals- everywhere you turn there is space for a veteran to feel appreciated for their service and sacrifice. Please take the time to reach out to a veteran you know just to say “hello” or “thank you for your service”, you never know the impact you might have.

Just a few weeks ago I was honored to spend a day with almost 100 WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans and their guardians as we all boarded a plane and headed out on a beautiful day to Washington, D.C. I have been to D.C. many times with my family and have always appreciated the history and formality of the museums, monuments, and memorials. I have only seen those things through my eyes and my experience. This opportunity with the wonderful Honor Flight Network organization allowed me to see the metal and stone come to life through the eyes of the veterans whom these memorials were named for.

Every veteran is assigned a guardian to accompany them during the entire day. While some veterans were in wheelchairs, everyone was energetic and excited to see what unfolded throughout the day (despite the 0430 muster at the airport!). Most veterans had stories to tell and memories to share, but some just quietly took in the sights and kept the memories to themselves.  The most impactful moment for me was accompanying my Vietnam-era veteran to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to find the names of two individuals he knew. The sheer volume of names on that wall puts a weight on your chest, but to lay eyes and touch the letters made of recessed voids that spell the name of someone you have been hearing stories of, morphs that weight into a vice. Throughout the day we shared laughs, took a lot of selfies, and just listened to his life experience and memories. The emphasis of the trip is to provide the veterans with an experience they will never forget, but I know that I received that same gift. The volunteers and organizers of the trip did an amazing job making sure that everyone was made to feel special, as they rightfully deserve. Please visit this link if you would like to donate to this very deserving organization: https://www.honorflight.org/donations.html

Upcoming Events: Morgantown Veterans Day Parade, Thursday, November 10 @ 6:00 pm

Good to know: Your life is worth it. Keep fighting and never give up. Every day, responders at the Veterans Crisis Line help people going through a crisis. Call the new number—Dial 988 then Press 1—to reach qualified, caring responders who are ready to listen.

 

Operation Welcome Home is here to serve veterans and their families in the greater Morgantown area. Let us know how we can assist you by visiting www.welcomehomewv.com or by calling 304-816-4854. See you all next month. Please have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving with those you love.

 

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