The group of military veterans that traveled to Washington DC on November 5 as part of the Hudson Valley Honor Flight Mission #28/The Navy Destroyer USS Taussig that Noble Welch served on in the Korean War.
Lincoln Academy World Language teacher Alison Welch traveled to Washington DC on November 5 as part of an Honor Flight Mission. Honor Flights carry military veterans to Washington DC to visit the Memorials honoring the conflicts in which they served. Welch traveled as a Guardian to a Vietnam veteran. She was invited to join the flight because her father, Noble Welch, who served in the Navy during the Korean War, was part of the flight. Welch’s sister Whitney served as Guardian for their father, but Welch learned that other veterans needed Guardians to accompany them, so she volunteered.
Welch’s flight traveled from Westchester County, New York to Washington DC. While in Washington, the group, which included about 70 veterans from the wars in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II, visited the Lincoln Memorial, and the WWII, Vietnam, Korean War, and Iwo Jima Memorials.
Welch said she was very moved by her trip, reflecting, “while World War II veterans came home as heroes having defeated Hitler and Mussolini, Vietnam Veterans came home to an anti war movement that saw protests happening all across the country. None of the veterans mentioned the protests during the Honor Flight or the lack of any sort of recognition. But what was never said but what was definitely palpable was the sense that none of Vietnam veterans had ever felt as welcomed and appreciated as they did last Saturday. There was a send off event early Saturday morning and a fire engine water salute as we headed down the runway; there was a large crowd chanting ‘welcome home’ when we arrived at Reagan International Airport in DC; active duty enlistees from the Army, Navy and Marines met us at every memorial; a huge crowd of greeters clapped and chanted welcome home at the restaurant where we had dinner; the flight crew, Hudson Valley Honor Flight volunteers who organized the entire day, ran a mail call, when each veteran received a large envelope of letters that had been secretly gathered from family and friends, along with cards and letters from students they had never met, all thanking the veterans for their service to our country. There wasn’t a dry eye on the plane on the trip home!”
Welch delivered 140 thank you cards written to veterans by Lincoln Academy students. She said, “the veterans were visibly moved that they were receiving thank you cards from students from Maine. One veteran thanked me over and over, and then said ‘I have never felt as appreciated as I have today”… It was a privilege and an honor to serve as a Guardian to a veteran on Hudson Valley Honor Flight Mission #28. Thank you to all who serve and to all who have served the United States!”