UMC recently sponsored a veteran to attend an event hosted by the Texas South Plains Honor Flight, a chapter of the Honor Flight Network. This event allowed George Willis, a World War II veteran, to visit the War and Service memorials in Washington D.C. and pay homage to his fellow brothers and sisters in arms.
For seven years, the Texas South Plains Honor Flight has sent approximately 120 World War II, Korean, and Vietnam veterans on this all-expense paid trip. Committee volunteers work year-round to raise $220,000 to sponsor the trip. This event was made possible thanks to the generosity of the South Plains’ residents, businesses and organizations.
Peyton Oldham, UMC Security Officer, went along on this honor flight as a military liaison. Dressed in his U.S. Navy uniform, Peyton assisted veterans in laying wreaths in honor of their fallen brothers and sisters. He has participated in this event honoring veterans for 5 years.
Another attendee on this trip, Glen Frick, Senior Vice President of UMC Physicians, acted as a guardian for his father, Virgil Frick, who served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” Glen said. “I can’t even explain the emotions of going to a war memorial with that many veterans.”
He mentioned a practice called etching as a way veterans honor the sacrifice of their friends lost in the war. Taking a piece of paper, they place it over the name plaque on the memorial’s wall, and etch over it with pen or pencil, leaving the outline of the name etched on the paper.
Glen said he would recommend this trip to all, especially to veterans.
To learn about how you can become involved with the Texas South Plains Honor Flight, visit their website www.texassouthplainshonorflight.org, or call 806.790.4635.