On Tuesday, September 22nd Ralph and Jodi Bratch participated as Guardians in an Honor Flight from the Tampa Bay area to Washington, D.C. The Honor Flight included all branches of the military and Veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. For each Veteran participating, a Guardian was assigned to assist throughout the day. In total there were 80 Veterans and 80 Guardians onboard the chartered flight from the St. Pete/Clearwater Airport in Florida.
The Honor Flights in the Tampa Bay area are organized by Honor Flight West Central Florida. It was a well planned out day that started at 4:00 a.m. The stops and memorials included the Air Force Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. En route to the memorials included a trip around the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial which features the sculpture of the iconic image of the American flag being raised on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II.
Upon arrival back to the St. Pete/Clearwater airport, the Veterans were welcomed home by several different groups of what seemed like thousands of people.
The day was full of memories and gratitude from all who attended. If you are unfamiliar with how Honor Flights work or would like additional information on how to participate or become involved visit the national Honor Flight organization website for flights in your area.