Re-posted with permission from the author:
A TRUE HONOR
A Chance Meeting With Some Of Our National Treasures
As I exited the plane in Denver to run to my connecting flight home, what did I see as soon as I got into the terminal? The most impressive sight I have seen in a long time. Thirty-Two WWII / Korean War Veterans. They were on their way to visit the WWII War Memorial in Washington D.C. (through the kindness of The Rocky Mountain Honor Flights Program). I knew I was rushed to get to my gate, as the boarding process for my connecting flight had already begun. But I just couldn’t walk by these Wonderful Men without stopping to recognize them and thank them for their courage, valor and sacrifices for the FREEDOMS we all enjoy. I met as many as I could around the gate and asked several of their chaperones if they would mind me taking their picture. They smiled and said I am sure they would love to. So, they scurried to gather this group together, I loudly thanked them all for their services and sacrifices, blessed them and we all did a thumbs and took the special picture you now see.
I do not know everyone’s name, nor do I need to. I just need to know their story and share their story with you. As I choked back tears running to my next flight (like the Hertz rental car commercial of the 70s), I smiled and told myself; "This is why I do what I do. This is why I sacrifice. This is why I put up with all the craziness. This is why I put up with people who get in the way of my ministry. This is why I work 16-hour days. This is “why I do what I do". I do it because I know we (YOU) are out there helping me take care of wonderful people like these wonderful gentleman. "The Greatest" generation of our time.
This greatest generation is dying off oh too fast. 16 million men and women served in WWII. Nearly 500, 000 lost their lives paying the ultimate sacrifice. Today, less than 1.7 million veterans are still alive. Each day, 700 WWII era veterans pass away. I couldn’t…. SIMPLY COULDN’T…. just walk away. I had to let them know that they matter and that they mean so much...
William S. Mayes
Proud United States Army Veteran