OK let’s cut to the chase. Everyone lists marriage or the birth of a child as the most important day in their lives. Horse hockey! Returning from a Veteran’s convention in Indiana headed to Buffalo we stopped at a Krispy Crème in Eire Pennsylvania. As I walked through the door this massive machine was churning out glazed donuts. I was handed a donut ...free...a free glazed donut I thought perhaps we had died in a car crash, and I was in heaven. Free glazed donuts. That event has been displaced dear Diary by my trip on Honor Flight on May 20, 2023. OUTSTANDING!!! The day started at 445 AM. Yes, Diary 445AM. I saw my ride pull up in front of my house. As I walked to the car, I noticed a Putnam County Sheriff’s car also in front of my house. What had happened? What went wrong? My guardian, Megan Castellano, was not in her car I glanced over and saw her by the patrol car. She turned and walked toward me with a big smile on her face. I looked back and my wife was smiling and crying. It seems that my daughter Dori had arranged a Sheriff’s escort for us to the Elmsford ShopRite, the staging area, where we were to board a bus to the Westchester airport Million Air Terminal.
We were greeted at each departure point and each arrival point like we were rock stars! We toured the WW 2 Monument, Korean War Monument and the Vietnam War Monument. As Megan and I started down the path to the Vietnam Wall a little boy about 5 0r 6 walked up to me a welcomed me home. We both suffered from what is known as “Honor Flight Allergies” or “HFA”. A mysterious malady that both Megan and I experienced that malady with many times that day.
The final stop in DC was to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
A whirlwind tour to be sure. On the flight home there was mail call. Our names were yelled out and we were given a big white envelope stuffed with letters. The first few were from kids from an elementary school. Then came a series of letters from friends and family that caused another bout of
“HFA” We landed at Westchester airport and walked through to lobby of terminal to a hail of cheers. Shouts of Welcome home ricocheted off the falls. Friends and family and strangers. Diary, I felt like I was welcomed home for the first time. Since I returned from Vietnam in 1970. When I told this to Megan on the bus ride to her car in Elmsford “HFA” impacted her again. Yes, all the Vietnam Veterans on the flight received their first welcome home.
As always I wish you horses!