By: Jarret Romanello
The Southeast Florida Honor Flight sent 65 WWII, Vietnam, and Korea War veterans and their chosen guardians to Washington D.C., on November 6.
The day-long event allows veterans to travel to the nation’s capital – free of charge – to visit war memorials and be honored for their service.
Patriotic volunteers serve as veteran guardians during the trip, staying with their battle buddies from the early morning flight to the night’s homecoming celebration.
Retired Airforce Major Glenn Vorres, a fighter pilot during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, was one of 17 Air Force veterans on this year’s Honor Flight. His neighbor, Michael Bruno, accompanied him as his guardian. Vorres was happy to have a trusted co-pilot on the Honor Flight, “I’m not that young anymore,” said Vorres, who turns 90 next month.
Vorres enjoyed the trip to the national monuments honoring veterans’ sacrifices. He remembers being ordered into civilian clothes when he arrived home after overseas deployments. “They didn’t want to identify us as service members,” says Vorres.
When the Honor Flight landed back at Palm Beach International Airport, Operation Homecoming attendees lined concourse A/B, waving flags as the mission ended and the veterans returned home. This time, the veterans proudly marched off the plane behind Palm Beach Pipe and Drums and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Honor Guard. “I can’t believe they all came out for us,” Vorres said.
Vorres believes that veterans and their families pay for an endless cost of war and was happy to finally get off a plan and be saluted for his service. “The Southeast Florida Honor Flight did an outstanding job recognizing veterans,” Vorres said.
Not all veterans came home from war to a parade and thankful crowd, but the Southeast Florida Honor Flight is finally giving them a long overdue thank you.