Honor Flight Columbus brings veterans to D.C. to see war memorials

Honor Flight Columbus

The McCullough’s are a family dedicated to service.

Martha served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, answering phones.

Her sons both served in Vietnam.

On September 9th, all three took part in Honor Flight Columbus, which works to bring our veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit their war memorials.

Veterans and volunteers gather before the sun comes up at John Glenn International Airport and take off for Baltimore.

The veterans are greeted inside the airport by handshakes and cheers from service members and others who are simply grateful.

Then, it’s time to load the waiting buses and a police escort whisks the group into the heart of our nation’s capital.

The first stop of the day is Arlington National Cemetery, where the veterans visit the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. That’s where Martha has the chance to meet the other female veteran on this trip from Columbus and, also, see a lifetime of change for women in the military.

After watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the group heads to the National World War II Memorial.

The veterans receive another warm welcome, but this time it comes from other visitors to the capital who offer their thanks in this special moment with applause.

Martha, seeing her war memorial for the first time, is a proud veteran. But she’s even more proud to be a mom whose sons both served.

“When you stop and think about it, two sons in Vietnam at the same time That’s giving up a lot,” said Martha McCullough. “But then it all worked out. They both came back. Thank God.”

But others the McCullough’s knew weren’t so lucky.

On the next stop of the day, they search the Vietnam Veterans Memorial for the name of a neighbor. Francis Deville lived right across the street, but never came home.

Bob McCullough says, when he came home from Vietnam, our country was so divided that only his parents acknowledged his service.

So, the reception he and his brother received on this trip is even more meaningful.

“Just to see the folks that have greeted us every place that we’ve been has just been very, very touching,” said Bob McCullough. “It sure made me feel good.”

After a visit to the Korean War and Air Force Memorials, the group is back on the road, head to Baltimore and then landing in Columbus.

Ending a whirlwind day in the capital, there is still one more chance to thank these veterans. Inside John Glenn International Airport, a crowd of thousands is waiting for a true welcome home ceremony.

Each veteran is celebrated with handshakes, hugs and cheering. Martha is reunited with her boys and the rest of her family.

Everyone is here to celebrate their veterans and a legacy of service.

Honor Flight Columbus is in need of more veterans and more volunteers.

If you are interested in applying, please click here.

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