Updated: Dec 23, 2022
Don Renfro will speak on his being part of a veterans’ group Honor Flight to Washington, DC.
10:35:26 I would 10:35:34 Good morning, I don't know how many of you know what honor flight? 10:35:42 Is that what it consists, of so I thought i'd give you a brief explanation of what it is it's a national organization, all 50 states part 2, and the goal is to fly as many veterans as possible initially 10:36:00 met as many veterans as possible from World War Ii. 10:36:04 To Washington, D. C. to see the memorials that were built in their arm. 10:36:12 Excuse me? Is that better or isn't that better no no no! 10:36:28 Is it, Granny does that matter, yeah yeah yeah maybe i'll do something. 10:36:38 No, it's all Oh, good 10:36:44 They started in early, 2 thousands flying veterans to Washington. 10:36:52 There are 136 hubs in the U. 10:36:55 S. Bakersfield, Kerr County, is one of the homes approximately 46,000 veterans in Current county. 10:37:06 I think of that number of problems. 3 or 4,000 have made the trip honor flight. 10:37:16 Number one was conducted in May of 2,012 and I can't remember the exact number, but it was like 25, or 30 veterans that were flown to Washington now, i'm dressed in a blue shirt a lot 10:37:36 of people ask me, Well, why are all the veterans in blue shirts? 10:37:40 And the reason is that the first flight that goes more whenever they wanted to, he got to Washington, and they lost veterans they couldn't. 10:37:53 So the the organization decided that we have to do something about this. 10:37:58 And so they started issuing to veterans on the flight closing, and that's why I have a blue shirt. 10:38:08 This is like a dog tag put it on when you get to Washington. 10:38:14 We're going to get on a plane and you don't take it off until you get home. 10:38:17 It has all the information it has a photo Id on the back. 10:38:23 It allows you to get through Tsa and it's It's an interesting program on flight. 10:38:34 45, which I participated in was October the eighteenth to the twentieth, 2 nights and 3 days. 10:38:40 We had an extra night and an extra day, and the reason for that was the plane that we were going to come back to Bakersfield. 10:38:53 Bond had a problem, and they had to correct that problem. 10:38:56 So we got an extra day and an extra night. and i'll tell you a little bit about that later. 10:39:04 On. So most of these stories yeah, people tell about honor, flight, and the bot veterans have a beginning in an end, and mine has a beginning in an end, and my my experience with honor flight started in April of this year Nancy 10:39:25 and I went to the airport. Come home. Flight 44 joint, 44 included. 10:39:35 Our good friend Tony Lee and Tony Lee got off that airplane. 10:39:41 Tony Lee and Tony Lee got off that airplane, and he was a totally changed person. 10:39:45 He said, Don, you have got to go towards that. You have got to get on one of these flights. 10:39:51 You need to experience this. it'll change your life it's the most fascinating, most emotional experience. 10:39:59 You'll ever have so I looked at tony and I said, Are you serious? 10:40:04 And he said, I couldn't be more serious next day I went down, got an application. 10:40:13 I put my application in, and fortunately I was selected. 10:40:24 Subsequent to the application is an interview process the staff interviews all veterans who apply, and they know all about your history on the service. 10:40:34 They know where you've been what you've done what you can do what you can't do. 10:40:42 They like to have as many mobile veterans as possible and that's not always possible with world war ii bets. 10:40:49 And now there's not many of us korean bets left. But there's a whole bunch of vietnam vets who can get around pretty well, being mom pets are in their early seventys, and it's just a 10:41:03 program that I just can't say enough about I should say There is. 10:41:11 There was a meeting the Saturday before we left on Tuesday. 10:41:15 Of all the people going on the flight, 192 people left on this flight at that point. 10:41:26 In time. 10:41:28 They passed out duffel bag, a blue duffel bag a wind breaker jacket, which I wore, and 3 of these shirts. 10:41:43 That's what we were to where the entire trip Oh, and we did so. 10:41:52 The beginning of this story is getting all the paraphernalia that we have to have who are given instructions. 10:42:01 But then the rest of it. Are we ready, Sydney? 10:42:03 Yeah, this is the morning we left Bakersfield to go to Washington, Dc. 10:42:12 This is loading the airplane and it's an allegiance, airplane, aircraft, an airbus. 10:42:17 It has 192 seats you're not padded. 10:42:23 They're not comfortable and get a 192 people in there. 10:42:28 There's a 100 and 92 people that's. 10:42:32 The morning we left for Washington. Dc you'll notice that There's a lot of blue shirts there's a lot of red shirts, and there's a few of sprinkling a white shirts the white 10:42:44 shirts are the staff, the volunteers who organized and administer the program. 10:42:51 The red shirts are guardians. Every veteran is assigned a guardian. 10:42:56 The Guardian is responsible for his festival. Throughout this entire trip the veterans are are flown to Washington, Dc. 10:43:07 At no cost to the Metro. The flight is paid for, and all the foods paid for hotels are paid for. 10:43:15 The red shirts are volunteers, and they pay their own way. 10:43:19 So this is on the way to Washington and we arrived in Washington late at night at a dinner, and we're total 2. 10:43:31 He had breakfast at 6 o'clock in the morning. the falling morning, because we have to load the buses. 10:43:37 There are 4 buses, 4 of us 10:43:43 They were going to take us to all the more. Excuse me all of my mornings. 10:43:48 The first stop was at the capital, and it's amazing we have 4 buses loaded with veterans. 10:43:55 All veterans set and window seats. We had a police escort Everywhere we went. 10:44:05 We never stopped at a stop sign. We never had a paid parking fees, went straight up to the capital. 10:44:12 We were the only people in the capital, the only people and I started asking questions and no case allowed. 10:44:22 But we got a picture cell. Phones were left on tables. 10:44:30 We were taken in to the house chambers. This is the portrait of Washington. On the left side of the podium, and on the right side is the forket of Lafayette. 10:44:49 The house chambers when I walked in I was Awestruck. it's small, you know. 10:44:55 We see things on Tv. We see. Oh, the president's message we see things that are going on in Congress. 10:45:03 And you think this is a huge it's very small and we were ushered in and told us it down didn't know what to expect, and we sat there for a few minutes, and then the door opens police everywhere and representative 10:45:22 Mccarthy came in and spoke to us now so so i'll have to pick a drink before I was this 10:45:37 I don't care what your politics are my politics or my personal opinion, and I don't agree with everything that some of the representatives in Congress do. 10:45:52 But I do have to say that Kevin Mccarthy is the minority, was the minority leader of the House. 10:46:05 He is the only Congressman that makes this happen to veterans. 10:46:12 No other veterans that I know of that they know of. 10:46:17 When we were there talking to us, had a member of Congress open up the capital. 10:46:22 I have a tour, and he did present each of us with a metal commemorating our visit to the capital. 10:46:31 This is taken in the Rotunda, it's all the veterans in our group that we're there 3 World war, 2 vets, 9 Korean bits, and 80 vietnam vets, so that was that's 10:46:51 92. it's a 192 people went on the flight. 10:46:54 So there's 100 people that are supporting the 92 10:47:03 The next visit after the capital was the World War, 2 memorial 10:47:13 Joanne had a photo of the memorial hits. 10:47:16 A spectacular memorial that Spans them all and it's the last one built well isn't the last one. 10:47:22 The Women's memorial is the last one there's 3 World War Ii. 10:47:28 Veterans. One is in the wheelchair, 2 of them are standing. 10:47:37 The one on the right is blue tickle he's 98 years young, and he and I became very close on the trip. 10:47:48 He's a judge in curm county his civilian life. 10:47:55 He was a good friend, an excellent friend of Senator Robert Dole. 10:47:59 They're both from Kansas senator Robert, dole with a big big supportorter of honor flight, and he's a main reason why it has gone so far to this day. 10:48:11 But those 3 were given the honor of laying a wreath, not laying, but placing your wreath at the memorial; and the memorial has a representation of all 50 States. 10:48:27 It also has a black granite monolith. Yeah, spams the other side of the reflecting pool, and that granite slab has 4,000 gold stars. 10:48:46 Each star represents 100 people who died military personnel who died in World War, 2. 10:48:54 So there's 400,000 that lost their lives it's an excellent one. 10:48:59 Memorial 10:49:04 There's another shot of the 3 vectors 2 of those veterans were on my bus. 10:49:10 We were assigned a bus when we started this trip, and we were told to stay on that same bus and sit in the same seat and behave yourself. 10:49:22 I did the next visit this morning, that I think this was Wednesday morning. 10:49:32 The next visit was to the Korean Memorial. 10:49:38 This is a walkway leading to the flying pole, and on the left you can see some bronze sculptures. 10:49:48 Those are a little bit larger than life size, sculptures of military personnel. 10:49:55 They're at full uniform they're in battle gear. They're wearing they're carrying their weapons or caring whatever they did It's a very moving sculpture it's a very 10:50:09 moving memorial, and that's our group walking getting ready to walk towards the flying whole. 10:50:21 This to me was 10:50:28 Was an honor. I was given the honor of helping place a wreath. 10:50:37 You can see the wreath there at the memorial. 10:50:40 This is the gauntlet that we walk through we're at the far end, getting ready to walk carrying the wreath to the memorial, and everyone stood. 10:50:52 Everyone clapped, everyone cheered, and it was really, it was inspiring. 10:50:58 There's the contingent of world war 2 excuse me Korean war veterans that attended this particular reflane and i'm one of those 3 saluting There's another shot of us that was 10:51:16 it's hard to explain and it's not just me that feels this way. 10:51:24 It's every veteran that i've ever come in contact with ever spoken with feel the same way, you know, when we're either enlist or we're drafted I was drafted in 1,950 10:51:40 2. The Korean War started in 1,950 in Iran to 1,953, almost 1954. 10:51:50 And I was in Second year college, and I volunteered for the draft. 10:51:55 I wanted to get it over, but I knew that I was going to have to go singer, so I volunteered, and I was drafted, and when you're inducted in the service, whether you volunteer or whether you are 10:52:08 drafted. You take him oath, and I think I believe every veteran who takes the oath never forgets it. 10:52:17 And you adhere to that oath throughout your lifetime. 10:52:21 Yeah. Well, our question, all of these 9 Korean vets were just mesmerized by what was showing to them, and the tributes that were paid for their service. 10:52:36 And it is it's inspiring that's another shot you can just barely see off to the upper left hand corner. 10:52:44 The sculptures and they're walking across a little grass area there, coming out of the woods, and it's really all the names are on the back panel by period. 10:53:00 I can't say enough about it the next visit was to the Vietnam. 10:53:09 Wall. I don't know how many people here have been to Washington. 10:53:13 I know Wilma has Wilma went John you have good. so you probably have seen these things. 10:53:20 You know what i'm talking about or maybe have an idea of what I'm talking about. 10:53:27 The Vietnam wall is mesmerizing it's. it's a black granite wall kind of in a V shape. 10:53:38 These are all the Vietnam vets that you see there now. 10:53:44 80 of them, all of them, almost all of were in their 70. 10:53:49 Some are in their eightys 10:53:55 When we approached that area, it got deathly quiet what's going on. 10:54:03 There's a reverence that the group paid to the wall. 10:54:10 One of the leaders was talking briefly on before we started. 10:54:13 This walk, and said, Do any of you know how the wall was designed, and why it was designed when it was a competition. 10:54:24 There was a competition to design the memorial, you see here, and the leader said, Anyone here know who the designer was? Well, who was it? 10:54:39 Dawn. Yes, yes, she was It was a It was a competition secret competition. 10:54:52 No names, and when the committee found out she was from Vietnam they went. 10:54:57 Zoners, you know how could how can we allow well she's like she's on 10:55:08 I can't I can't remember what nobody's gonna say, but anyway, she did a fantastic job. 10:55:15 You can feel the emotion that went into this wall that Wall has 53,000 names on it, and all the names are inscribed in the order in which they lost their life. 10:55:31 It's not alphabetical order There is a registry that identifies the area of the wall that a name will appear on it. 10:55:42 People, people, veterans, guardians, found the name a relative or someone that they wanted to honor, and they did rubbings 10:56:03 There there were. There were veterans that approached the wall to find a friend, a brother, a relative of some kind, and they just stood there. and then the tears started. 10:56:24 This gentleman sound his brother's name not so photograph of his brother. 10:56:36 Yeah, it's it's a very emotional experience to see people come to this law. 10:56:45 It's just something of black wall, but it has 53,000 names. 10:56:54 Young American Service personnel who lost their life. Yes, Joe found the name, and he went down, and I think he spent 15 min just looking just thinking. 10:57:11 Remembering, and you can see the entire length of that wall. 10:57:22 Had people finding names. 10:57:28 Interesting side story. Nancy and I belong to a gym that we work out twice a week, and the owner of the gym is is 10:57:40 Her name is Deborah. Different denial some of you may know her. She's been here before visiting, I think Deborah texted Nancy, and said, tell Dawn that her stepfather is on that flight, and they ought to 10:57:59 get together. Well, 2 days I was looking for steve he's in a real care. 10:58:04 Now I found him at the wall he's in that wheelchair and he oh, boy, he's he's a pet getting on that he's in the air force He flew off of carriers and he has 10:58:23 something like 35, or 40 missions and I don't know if any of you know anyone that's flown in the Navy. 10:58:32 But it's a pretty heavy landing sequence and Steve ended up with a bad back, and he attributed the bad back to all the carrier landings. 10:58:50 Some more people looking for names 10:58:57 The morning we visited Arlington National Cemetery was a clear day. 10:59:02 You can see how clear it is. This is a tomb of the unknowns, and the sentinel is standing there with his back to us. 10:59:13 Is on duty, and he walks that black mask. 10:59:23 He walks 21 paces from where he's positioned there he'll make a left turn and left shoulder arms, and he'll walk to the other end of that map and then he'll 21 paces he'll 10:59:36 stop for 21 s You Do a right face for 21 s, and then he'll do another right face and right shoulder arms, and pace to the other end. 10:59:50 Now what's the significance? of the 2121 gun salute is the highest honor you can give anyone in the military 21 gun salute 21, so you can't have guns going off all day long so the 11:00:09 the core of the unknown, for the unknowns came up with us many years ago, and that crypt holds the remains. 11:00:22 And then there are 3 other crypts in front you can see who remains from other complex, and then there's no a wire holder there that will receive a reef that will be lane 11:00:45 After we witnessed the changing of the guard changing with a sentimental, we gathered outside the amplitudes behind the tomb, and one of the leaders of our group had this young man he's a sergeant I 11:01:05 believe, came out and spoke with us. And what about? I swore to God that the the people who were garbing that tomb when I first time I was there in 1,952 the same people You know They look the same 11:01:27 they haven't changed. They they have they have a presence about them that is to be proud to know that we have that group of people doing what they're doing. 11:01:43 He? he! He made a comment. Somebody asked him a question. Well, how do you get into that group? 11:01:52 He said, You have to apply and not everyone is accepted but once you're accepted. 11:02:03 You go through 18 months of training every day you have time off office, but every day for 18 months, and if you can pass the test at the end of the 18 months, then you're allowed to walk the mat, as they call, it and they walk that 11:02:22 map. they walked that mat 24 h a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks, a year, rain, snow, sleep, freezing cold. 11:02:41 It's. the same uniform it's a whole uniform, and they wear it in the summertime. 11:02:47 They were in the wintertime. The uniform they wear has no rank. 11:02:53 They do not put the rank of the individual because they don't want any sentinel to outrank. 11:03:00 Whoever's in the tomb that's another honor I think the only person that wears rank going to the tool is the Nco. 11:03:11 Who brings the replacement sentinel out and changes he can show his right, but no one else can 11:03:24 We went through Orlington, and this gentleman found the headstone of a relative, and he wanted to jump out of the bus, so they said, Sure, they took this picture. 11:03:38 We did drive through all the way through arlington I don't know how many people here have seen Arlington. 11:03:47 But it's all inspiring. my first visit to Arlington was in 1952, and the older section of Arlington has very ornate headstones. 11:04:00 They're carved and they're big and there's now they're all like this. 11:04:05 I don't know how many of you remember audi Murphy, but he was the most highly decorated soldier of World War. 11:04:12 2 came back became a movie star. We went by colin powell's headstone. Colin Powell's heads don't look just like that, and he could have been buried anywhere. 11:04:25 He wanted to be, he said, I want to be buried with the troops. Yeah. 11:04:30 So that's what he did he's buried with the troops 11:04:36 We visited the Air Force Memorial. The Air Force Memorial is adjacent to where we stay. 11:04:45 We stayed at the Sheridan Andagon City Hotel, and the Air Force Memorial. Most fires will stainless steel spires from 300 feet tall. and there is certain find the contrary of female a 11:05:03 plan. The The hotel accommodations faced Washington, and off to the right you can see the capital straight ahead. 11:05:18 You could see the Washington Monument, and to the left was the Lincoln Memorial at night. 11:05:24 They're all it up it's beautiful what an experience it's very, very touching, very interesting time this is another group photo taken at the women in military memorial. 11:05:39 It's one of the last memorials to be built in Washington, and it's to honor the women who served all the way from the Civil War to Vietnam you have a full grass a commemorative 11:05:54 artifacts inside of what women in uniform have done fighter pilots. 11:06:01 How many of you knew we had fire pilots that were military women in the military. 11:06:07 Jim probably knew it. it's amazing what they've done accomplish. 11:06:14 Anyway, we had our our photograph taken with you're reflecting pool outside there 11:06:26 The Lincoln Memorial is interesting to this, because something is always going on. 11:06:32 It's very close to the vietnam memorial and the karina Memorial. 11:06:41 It's also not too far from fdr memorial which we visited. 11:06:47 And there was something going on there. This is on duty service personnel. 11:06:55 Starting at the far left is the army and then I think it's the Air Force, and then the white pants are marines, and then the Navy, and I gotta tell you it's inspiring to see military personnel doing what They do best and that is to put 11:07:13 on a show. They did a fantastic job. How am I doing for time? 11:07:22 There was a the last evening, we thought, was a dinner and the 192 people attended, and as at the end of dinner there was a presentation ceremony, and all 92 metrics. 11:07:47 We're called to the podium and how many of the stuff I can find here. 11:08:02 Each phantom was presented with a struck metal hung around your neck, commemorating your time and service, and on her flight 45 also 11:08:30 Bear with me. Each spectrum was presented an American flag. 11:08:37 There was flowing over the capital 11:08:43 And a certificate from the architect of the capital stating them at the request. 11:08:53 And here again I don't care about politics the request of the Honorable Kevin Mccarthy, member of Congress. 11:08:59 This flag was flown in commemoration of Honor Flight Kern County for Donald rentrose Trip to Washington, Dc. 11:09:06 And October 22, and to honor his dedicated service to a grateful nation. 11:09:12 You know That's meaningful it's very meaningful because I wasn't treated badly when I came home, but the Vietnam vets were treated badly and Now they're not and they were recognized for 11:09:33 the service that they gave to the country and I think it's. I think it's very fitting that this presentation ceremony, which lasted 2 and a half hours or more, because no you call you call a veteran up 11:09:57 to a podium, and you start talking about what he did in the service, and it can go on and on and on. 11:10:10 I have a slow throat today. Excuse me. 11:10:16 I'm gonna tell a little story here, about my friend Steve Gordon, who was a vietnam vet. 11:10:25 Steve did not want to go on this trip and I talked him into it. 11:10:32 Okay, i'll go if you go on as part of the interview process. 11:10:40 They interview her? asks each veteran what they did. 11:10:45 That was special. What they did that is commendable and Steve I didn't do anything. 11:10:55 I just put my time in Who's in the air force for 4 years he served during the Vietnam war. 11:11:05 He was stationed on Midway Island 11:11:12 Steve went up to the podium and received the same thing that who Tickles received. 11:11:19 He was the first person to receive something that might and then, you know, sit down. 11:11:27 And as Steve was coming back just said the Master of ceremony, said, there's a little sidon up here, and he said Steve says that he didn't do anything Steve on his own. 11:11:53 Well let me back. Up Midway Island was a stopping point for all of the remains. 11:11:58 All of the caskets that came out of Vietnam and Thailand during the war. 11:12:04 They stopped, transferred, came home. Steve took it upon himself. 11:12:09 For the time he was there to go to each incoming flight. 11:12:15 Place on memento on the casket, and stood there, saluted the casket. 11:12:26 When when Justin dies, ex-service Man, standing there at the potent, was telling this the room became definitely silent. 11:12:40 You could hear a pen drop, and he finished the story, and you could hear. 11:12:50 And then it was a and Steve was sitting burying his face, and I was sitting right next to him. 11:12:57 Next time he didn't think he did anything but he did and everyone in that room recognized what he did. 11:13:07 I think it's amazing. No, the effort that the staff were on our flight, go over to have these things brought to the attention of a publicist commendable 11:13:26 We were supposed to come home on the twentieth, and we got to the airport, and no airplane at the gate, and we waited. 11:13:41 A couple hours came in the wind. We waited. We waited some more, and during that time there were active service personnel that were coming in and out of the terminal, and they would find out who we were why we were there and they would come 11:14:00 over and want to shake our hands, and we want to do the same thing. 11:14:04 So this is an indication of 2 active service personnel that came over. 11:14:09 I grabbed one. Vegas was his name, Sergeant Vegas. 11:14:16 I grabbed him. I said, can you take an extra minute. There's someone over here I want you to meet he's a 98 year young world War ii vet his name is tico absolutely sir. 11:14:30 Yes, sir, you take me where you want me to go sir, and i'll go there. 11:14:32 Run away, sir. Okay. So we did. He stood there on, talked to Lou for 1520 min. 11:14:39 Yeah, just an amazing new experience that's another indication of what happened was they would come through 2 and 3 at a time, and then, all of a sudden, there was like 2 or 3 dozen active service personnel. 11:14:59 That came walking through, and they were all stood and and game was standing overvasion. 11:15:06 Then they would say, Thank you for your service. and that became the comment of the day. 11:15:12 Thank you for your service. Thank you for no one's ever done that no one's ever said that to most of the people, so that probably we were supposed to have left Washington at 2 30 their time to come home, and that 7 30 that 11:15:40 night we found out that the white shirts had been on the phone all day. 11:15:47 They had released all the buses, they had released, all the transportation. 11:15:51 They had released all the hotels, they released all the food. 11:15:55 Just a 192 people, and they have have a 192 people in a terminal. 11:16:02 Where are you going to put them? They have gates, Those gates have room for maybe 100 200 people, but they have active planes coming in and out. 11:16:12 So they put us in one gate stay here don't move don't go anywhere. 11:16:17 We did that. and then they came over asking more we have to move you we're going the other side of the terminal. now. 11:16:28 I didn't know what it first but the staff is frantically trying to find hotel accommodations for 190. 11:16:37 2 people, and they're what do they do how are they doing this They weren't able to get us all in one hotel, 4 hotels. 11:16:49 Our buses, which, seated between 40 and 45 people, were released. 11:16:55 They were gone and had no access to them. How did we get from the turmoil to the 4 hotels? 11:17:03 Eight-person fan started what they got it. They got transportation. 11:17:06 They got us there. We got into our room sometime between midnight and one in the morning. 11:17:18 This photo shows what I think is a phenomenal achievement. 11:17:24 The terminal was closed. No food, nothing restrooms are open that's it. 11:17:33 Salty's barbecue here, I can't remember the gentleman's first name, but anyway, he was on this flight. 11:17:41 He knew someone in the restaurant business in Washington, Dc. 11:17:46 He called him. Hey, i've got a 192 we're closed. 11:17:49 We closed 2 h, but I got 100 and 92 people got a feeling. 11:17:54 Oh, what's it about honor flight. Oh, my God i'll call staff! he called Staff. 11:18:01 He got him down to the restaurant, the barbecue restaurant. 11:18:06 They put together a meal 192 people. 11:18:12 The red shirts are the ones who laid it all out. 11:18:15 Put the food together. The veterans were someplace else seated behind there. 11:18:22 The guardians. The Red Shirts each came and got food enough for the veteran they were responsible for. 11:18:31 So we we got to eat 6 37 it's amazing I'm just. I can't believe the effort that people went to to make this trip pleasant for the people who went on it on the way home. 11:18:50 We had to wait a little bit, and this is some of us. 11:18:55 That's gary gankee on the left in me. And then one of the leaders in that and Steve Gerald, my friend, and the bald headed kid in the red shirt of Steve's son, who was 11:19:08 our guide, our guardian. We had no idea that there was going to be the reception when we got to Acresfield didn't say anything about it, but during the flight halfway from Washington 2 acresfield there's a 11:19:34 male call male call in the military is a big thing it's a huge thing. 11:19:41 So Justin got up and said, we're gonna have male call, and each veteran on that flight what's going on envelope full of letters full of momentums full of drawings from family from friends phone the 11:20:08 Citizen Re of Bakersfield. first thing they did. 11:20:16 When they handed these out so you handed this out what's that, for I have never in my life witnessed that many people all tearing up at the same time because of the last thing that justin said is when you get 11:20:35 your mail open it right away we don't want you to keep it. 11:20:40 We want you to open it. We want you to read it. 11:20:41 So you open this up and whom Oh, couldn't believe it it's very touching it's very emotional, and it's something that I don't think i'll ever forget. 11:20:57 But, anyway, the first first 3 people out of the gate just happened to be me New Tickle and another world war 2 vet. 11:21:15 We came out to a standing ovation clapping. 11:21:19 The networks band was playing, and they wheeled this out. 11:21:27 Some of some of us were still in chairs. What! what a what a what marvelous experience to have that happen! 11:21:37 Some of you will recognize a gentleman. on the left that's Tony and Hank, where was on the right. Hank was supposed to have gone on this flight, but he didn't get his application in and time, Tony said 11:21:57 i'm coming to the air tool name nancy i'm coming to the airport. 11:21:59 I want to see Don come home. so he did again he's one of the first faces I saw when we finally got into the terminal. 11:22:08 That's the veterans family band they go to every function I don't know. 11:22:15 Are they ever at the breakfast judy are they and that's another thing. 11:22:19 There's a breakfast every every first thursday of every month for veterans at adults club. 11:22:31 Yeah, and you participate in it. I believe and it's free to the veterans. 11:22:35 I got to do is this and your name Tag, and you get a free free breakfast. 11:22:42 I think everyone else pays 6 or $7 for the breakfast. 11:22:48 You get off the plane, and this is what you see. Welcome home! 11:22:52 Signs daughters, daughters. grandsons is it's an amazing experience to have that happen 11:23:06 So 11:23:12 Just a kind of a We I mentioned We visited the Fdr. Memorial, which is kind of an interesting memorial. it's on the banks of the Potomac, and we went to the iowa flag 11:23:29 raising memorial which is for the marine veterans that's huge huge memorial. we went to the Navy Memorial, which is downtown Washington. 11:23:46 And we also went to the Post Guard Memorial, which is outside Arlington. 11:23:51 The the attention to detail that's put into these flights is amazing. 11:24:03 It doesn't just happen there's a lot of effort that goes into making this happen and making it good for the veterans to enjoy. 11:24:13 Yeah, I cannot. I wanted we go. Excuse me. Got back on a Friday. 11:24:20 I wanted to come the following Sunday and talk to the Fellowship. 11:24:26 Saturday morning I tested positive for Covid close close to close to 80 90 people on that flight in Delaware. 11:24:35 Covid right from the flight, but probably from the buses and I was so sick I've never been my second my life 2 weeks. 11:24:45 I was laid up, and my friend who's photo was there Gary Ganicky. 11:24:53 He was hospitalized, he was so bad, and he was in the hospital for 6 or 7 days. 11:25:00 But when I do it again in a heartbeat and i'd like to encourage any of you here who have friends or relatives who are in the military. 11:25:15 Sir, please please apply they'll never they'll never regret it it's it's something that I think all veterans should experience sometime in their lifetime. 11:25:27 So with that. Thank you.