If you love parades, this was not to be missed. This day long event was a salute to civilians who have made significant contributions to veterans. Jeff and Earl received the award along with Jaspen Boothe, Founder and President of Final Salute and Ted Leonsis, Owner of the Washington Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. For our boys, it was a daylong trek around Fort Meyers, a tour of the Pentagon and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns with an Honor Flight in attendance! Go Team!
General Mark A. Milley knows how to put on a party! He has the troops and talents to display the Army's best and he spared neither in his praise of the awardees. Dave Nichols, friend Laura, my wife June (a long-standing Honor Flight widow) and new CEO Meredith Rosenbeck, board member Theresa Werner and friend and Gottaswing dancer James Martin, and John W. Mccaskill of the Allied Airmen all arrived early. We had time before the party to admire the view from the hilltop adjacent to the Milley residence known as "Quarters One". I've been up there for news assignments but never had time to take in the Olympian view of DC. Has to be great for fireworks!
The houses in this little community are beautiful red brick 19th Century style and meticulously maintained. "Honor Flight" folks got a special tour of the General's souvenir room. He's got quite a collection of memorabilia from various campaigns, tours of duty and family items as his father fought in WWII and landed in Normandy. Naturally Honor Flight is close to his heart. He is the Army's Chief of Staff and its best salesman. He is also a man who's "on time" and used to getting the troops going so we were shepherded out of the house and bused over to Comney Hall for the ceremony.
Earl Morse and General MilleyA trim Earl Morse still fits in his uniform presenting General Milley with an Honor Flight Campaign Coin General Milley and Chairman Dave "Sparky" Nicols General Milley with Japanese sword used for suicide. He gave a vivid demonstration.
Six musical and dress representations of historically significant stages of the Army were presented musically and accompanied by occasional musket fire. Six musical and dress representations of historically significant stages of the Army were presented musically and accompanied by occasional musket fire. Six musical and dress representations of historically significant stages of the Army were presented musically and accompanied by occasional musket fire.
After the ceremony, General Milley who's even better at "herding cats" than I got everyone back aboard the buses and to his house where an assembled group of musicians played a set of songs chosen to suit each honoree. We gathered around and spent an hour listening to a group of talented musicians who at the end of the evening each spoke a bit about themselves. Lot of talent!
It was a wonderful evening and an opportunity to make the Honor Flight cause more widely known. It was also great fun. General Milley is quite a character and knows how to show his appreciation for anything that supports the Army mission.