Happy Memorial Day
Memorial Day means different things to our divergent population of Americans. For some it is time for a day lounging at the pool, for others the day of their annual family reunion; for many there will be hot dogs and hamburgers on the barbeque to enjoy while American Flags wave freely.
For Hasa, Memorial Day has always focused on remembrance and the display of respect for our men and women of the armed services. After all, Memorial Day celebrations were purchased, in part, by the dedicated service of each and every United States Veteran!
Therefore, it was just natural, when an opportunity arose to support the Honor Flight organization earlier this month, Hasa was proud and pleased to assist.
The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport our aging heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials; a small tribute to those who gave so much-a memorable, safe, and rewarding "Tour of Honor."
Top priority is given to the most senior veterans - World War II survivors; along with terminally ill veterans. Each veteran is accompanied by a personal "Guardian." The guardians pay their own expenses; however, each honored veteran travels at no monetary cost to them!
Arlen Proctor, a Hasa Longview, Washington General Manager became involved with the Honor Flight organization and approached Hasa with a sponsorship proposal.
"Absolutely!" was Hasa Vice-President Lisa Johnson's immediate response!
Hasa, Inc subsidized two employees, Arlen and Driver Lead/Dispatch Denny Peterson to enable them to serve as guardian on a recent Honor Flight.
"You can only imagine what it takes to get fifty-two World War II veterans, ages eighty-five to ninety-six, through airport security with their wheelchairs. We flew to Chicago midway and had to change planes. As the Guardians were escorting their vets through the airport, a large majority of bystanders started clapping and coming up to the vets; thanking them for their service." Proctor recalled. "This was emotional for both the vet and his guardian!"
Arlen's veteran was Gail Cox from Gladstone Oregon. Gail served as a Navy Commando.
For Denny Peterson, this trip was extra special, as his veteran was Robert (Pete) Peterson, his father. Pete is a Navy World War II Veteran. The trip was amazing for the four of them and bursting with gratifying memories.
"One of the things that many of us (on the Honor Flight) noticed, regardless of where we were, was that there were young people, Girl Scouts, 4H'ers and anybody else who wanted to participate, who would come up to the veterans and shake their hand to thank them for their service."
Arlen Proctor added. "It gives me hope for the future!"
As we celebrate this May 26th, Hasa encourages you to take just a moment to remember all the veterans who have contributed to keep our country as a culturally diverse, free society.
All Gave Some And Some Gave