By Jim Dresbach, Pentagram Staff WriterSeptember 20, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. -The face of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall retention went outside the gates to serve as goodwill ambassadors and greeters when a group of Honor Flight veterans from Dallas-Fort Worth arrived at Reagan National Airport Sept. 13.
JBM-HH retention office soldiers Master Sgts. James Meyers, Decarlo Johnson and Matthew Middleton, Sgts. 1st Class Patrick Burnish, Hector Milian and Jose Cubillos and Staff Sgt. Christopher McCuiston represented the Army as members from all branches of the military greeted U.S. veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
"We had Army at the airport, and Marines from Quantico greeted and escorted us and served as guardians," said Tudy Giordano, Hub Director of Dallas Fort Worth Honor Flight, via phone. "The honor flight participants ranged from 86 to 96 years of age. We had 40 World War II vets on the Sept. 13 Honor Flight."
Honor Flights are regularly scheduled tours of the Washington, D.C., area and its war memorials which are taken by older veterans from across America to honor and reward them for their service. Many honor flights visit tourist attractions in the joint base area, including the Marine Corps War Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Korean War and World War II Memorials.
"It was real humbling. Just to shake these guys' hands and to see the looks of gratitude on their faces that we were there was great," said Meyers. "We stopped traffic at the airport because we formed up and each one wanted their own picture.
"I think this trip brought back memories for them; I told one guy we were humbled to be there because we are doing our best to carry on what they handed to us," Meyers added.
While current service members have high acclaim for those who fought a world war during the 1940s, the Soldiers closing in on centurion status think that today's warriors who fight overseas are the heroes.
"Our guys [the Honor Flighters] call [current service members] 'the kids,''' said Giordano. "Our guys think it's the guys with the boots on who are the greatest generation."