Honor Flight – A Tribute To A Mom

Written By Patty L., daughter of a former NorthCare patient

On May 19 I had the pleasure of accompanying my mother, to Washington D.C. with Honor Flight Network of Kansas City.  Several times a year they escort U.S. Veterans to Washington D.C. to honor them by visiting memorials and monuments.

I found out about one of these flights just a few weeks before the May 19th flight but was told it was booked but had occasional cancellations.  On May 15th I was informed there were no cancellation and the next flight would possibly be later in the summer.  Mom was not doing well and I so wanted her to be able to go on May 19th but thought it was not going to be possible.  The evening of May 17th I was notified that they were able to accommodate Mom if I could have her at the airport by 4:00 a.m. on May 19th.  I quickly agreed and was up at2:00 a.m. on the 19th and off we went to the airport.  I knew Mom would enjoy this trip as she had served in the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII as a Radioman 2nd Class.  Mom met my father while in the Coast Guard in N.O., Louisiana and they were married just 2 weeks later in 1945 and remained married until my father’s passing in 2008.

Mom and I arrived at the airport on May 19th and were met by 25 other veterans, mostly from WWII, and approximately 6 individuals from Honor Flight Network of Kansas City plus many guardians of the Veterans.  Mom was treated like Royalty.  She was the only female veteran.  Since she was not able to walk she stayed in her wheelchair all day or was carried to her seat on the airplane by airport personnel, Marines, or other volunteers.  Lunch and snacks were provided on the bus during the day and dinner at the Washington D.C. airport before returning to K.C.

We were transported around Washington D.C. by bus and greeted by so many individuals thanking her for her service in the Coast Guard.  It was a very warm day but I saw the smiles on her face as we visited Arlington National Cemetery, Washington Monument, National WWII Memorial, Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln, and Iwo Jima Memorials.  At the airport waiting for the return to K.C. the Veterans were each delivered mail from around the world thanking them.  She loved the attention.

This was a trip and experience with many memories I was able to share with my mother.  When we returned she told many people that we had taken a trip and had a big smile on her face when speaking of the trip.  Unfortunately Mom passed away a few weeks later just 40 days shy of her 93rd birthday.  I know she really enjoyed the attention and experience of our flight and I was privileged to be a part of that day with her.

NorthCare Hospice began caring for Mom after a hospital stay at NKC Hospital and continued to provide comfort to her until her passing.  I am so thankful for their devoted, loving care for both of us.

The staff and volunteers on the Honor Flight were wonderful and without their expert assistance the trip would not have been possible.

Cost Guard Emblem

Marjorie and Patty Levine May 2015 Marjorie Levine May 2015 May 2015 Waiting in Airport Marjorie and Patty Washington DC Marjorie and Patty Levine

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