A special Veterans Day episode of the regionally syndicated television show The Local Traveler highlights the special welcome home Honor Flight Veterans receive from their communities. In September, program executive producer and host Amy Hess brought her camera crews to two “welcome home” events in Kentucky – one for Honor Flight Tri-State’s historic first all-women’s flight and one for Honor Flight Bluegrass’ first full flight departing from Lexington, Kentucky.
“Being a part of the Honor Flight welcome home event gave me an experience like none I had ever had,” Hess told Vantage Point. “I believe myself to be a patriotic person, but the intense swell of patriotism that came over me during the welcome home parade was one I could have never imagined. It is something you truly have to experience firsthand. To look out into the crowd and see so many other people, of all different ages and backgrounds, coming together with the common goal of saying ‘thank you’ made me feel an overwhelming sense of unity, purpose and pride.”
“I never anticipated the profound effect that being a part of an Honor Flight would have on me … I thought I was there to give back to the Veteran, however it was the Veteran, who gave back to me.” ~ Amy Hess, The Local Traveler
Hess said the most meaningful part of the whole process was seeing the sincere and heartfelt effect it had on the Veterans themselves, especially seeing how deeply moved they were to just have someone show up and say “thank you.”
“There is no better time to be reminded of that than on Veterans Day. This is a day that is not about a department store sale or a day off work, but rather to truly give thanks to those who put their lives in harm’s way so that we can live freely. They certainly deserve and clearly appreciate our thanks,” Hess said.
Watch the episode above, and view some of the photos we shared on VA’s Facebook page of the two Honor Flights from September.