An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Part I: Please Help Honor World War II Veterans

Several years ago as I was boarding a flight from Chicago to Boise, I was stopped in my tracks as I started to walk down the aisle to my seat.  I saw a sea of black hats.  I immediately recognized the hats because my husband has one on his dresser, it was his grandfathers. The hat signifies what war a soldier may have fought in, if they are a veteran and sometimes what branch they served.  I was overwhelmed, wanted to take a picture because it was a beautiful sight, but I didn’t want to offend anyone. I quickly learned I was on an Honor Flight full of World War II Veterans.  They were flying back from Washington D.C. where most were seeing the World War II memorial for the first time.

When we arrived in Boise, the veterans were the last to exit the plane. Many of us on the flight stayed around and welcomed them home, a Hero’s Welcome they never received after the war.  Tears welled up in my eyes and all I could do was clap and smile as one by one they passed by. 

Indy Honor Flight is a non-profit organization created solely to honor Indiana’s veterans for all their sacrifices.  There are similar organizations throughout the country with the same mission: to transport America's Veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their sacrifices. Currently, the top priority is given to the senior veterans-World War II survivors, along with those veterans who may be terminally ill. 

“Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation- and as a culturally diverse, free society. Now, with over 700-900 World War II veterans dying each day, our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.” Indy Honor Flight
Several weeks ago a fellow colleague sent out an email asking for support in writing letters to veterans that will be going on an upcoming honor flight.  I knew this was an opportunity to give and hopefully get others involved.  This is TOP SECRET!  The Veterans on the flight don’t know it, but each Veteran will receive 10 or more pieces of mail.  The emotions that “mail call” raises are a testimony to the character of these men and women and how much these small acts of kindness mean to them. 

My Cisco colleagues, Vic Minatel, accompanied his uncle on an Honor Flight trip last September and stated, “During the war, mail call was a great day! It was a day that raised their spirits.  Mail call during the honor flight is a total surprise and they were humbled and very grateful for all of the letters. The veterans are humbled by the outpouring of support that is shown to them by friends, family and strangers.”
If you are reading this blog, you have freedoms that were fought for by the men in World War II and other wars. 

Please take a couple of minutes of your time to write a letter to say, THANK YOU!
Deadline for letters: March 28th (if you miss this deadline, there is another flight in May)

·       Please address your letter to: Dear Veteran

·       Do not date your letter

·       Example signatures: Stephanie, Mrs. Jones or simply A Grateful American

Please mail cards and letters to:

Indy Honor Flight

c/o Mail Call

9093 S SR 39

Moorseville,IN 46158
The schedule has the veterans returning home to Indianapolis on April 5th and another flight returning home on May 10th.  Again, I would encourage all of you to take a few minutes and jot a couple of notes to our Veterans who will be on the flight thanking them for their service and sacrifice that allows us to enjoy our enduring freedoms and liberties.   

“We can’t all be heroes, some of us need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by”

–Will Rogers

Thank you to Vic Mantel and Indy Honor Flight for pictures and information on the Indy Honor Flight experience. To learn more about Indy Honor Flight check out their website at


  1. One day these veterans will be gone. My dad was a pilot in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He didn't live long enough to see the memorial.


    1. My grandfather was in WWII and like your father didn't live long enough to see the memorial also. I hope they are enjoying it from heaven!

  2. My grandfather also never had the chance to see his memorial in DC, which is why I took another WWII Veteran (my wife's great Uncle) and then when I found out about the Honor Flight program started the hub here in Indy. It is in honor of my Grandfather, Janie's Father, Stephanie's Grandfather and all the great men and women that we've lost that we do what we do. It's a great program and I encourage you to honor your loved ones and all Veterans in general by getting involved in some fashion, it's honestly the best thing I've ever been a part of.

    Stephanie, thank you for helping raise awareness of our Mission.

    p.s. find us on Facebook for ways to get involved!

    Grant Thompson
    Indy Honor Flight Chairman