Angels In Our Midst

Recently Clint McCowen took part in a special tribute to our WWII Veterans. The following is from areport from WEAR 3 in Pensacola Florida.

When the Emerald Coast Honor Flight took off last week with 102 veterans heading for Washington D.C., our heroes were not alone. A special group was tapped to make the journey with them.They were the guardians of The Angels In Our Midst.

Voice of Wayne Butts, Honor Flight Guardian;  “I serve as a Hospice chaplain and so I hear the World War II vets’ story on a daily basis.”

Wayne Butts and the more than 30 other guardians on the honor flight, wanted to pay tribute to the veterans who lived those stories.

Pat Mrachek, Honor Flight Guardian; “I didn’t sleep last night. My veterans didn’t sleep last night. So, it’s just so much excitement in the air. And then, to finally get here and see this, it’s just priceless, it really is.”

Wayne Butts, Honor Flight Guardian; “ I just want to do anything and everything I can to tell these men, who stood up for us, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

They all paid their own way and many took off from work. Each guardian was assigned three veterans and was responsible for meeting their every need for a safe, enjoyable journey. Bonds formed quickly…

Deb Moore, Honor Flight Guardian;  “Being an Air Force veteran and my father being an Air Force veteran and a World War II veteran; veteran of Korean War, Viet Nam twice. I just wanted to honor him and be a part of this.”

Pat;  “I’m a reservist, so, I know what the military means. My dad was ex-service, ex-Navy.
And I know what the commitment these guys went through.”

With each step, more stories, more memories came to life. This trip was about more than mortar and monuments, more than men and medals…

Deb;  “Sid’s story of being stuck in Belgium for almost a year is just, I mean, that’s the Band of Brothers story. And to know that somebody like that lives in our community is
just incredible.”

Some family members signed on as guardians too. They knew first-hand the importance of this trip.

Jodie Butler, Son of World War II Veteran;  “Dad was not doing very well in December. We put his name on the list just to give him something to look forward to. No way we thought he would be able to make it. He’s been in physical therapy three times a week and came to the training without his oxygen two weeks ago. So, it’s just amazing.”

Guardian Clint McCowen perhaps summed up the feelings for everyone when he wrote about his experience…”Today, I walked with giants. Even though time has placed some of them in wheelchairs or on crutches or oxygen bottles, today, they all are, nonetheless proud and brave warriors. Some with tears in their eyes for close friends fallen to the ravages of war, others with tears of joy for those who survived to see this very day…This band of brothers who were our salvation many years ago, this band of brothers to whom we owe our lives. Today we enjoy freedom and liberty because we stand on the shoulders of giants.”