Loan One, a division of Benchmark Bank, Supports our Veterans
“We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.” – Will Rogers
The story of Honor Flight is a great American tale. In 2004, retired Air Force Captain Earl Morse first flew veterans in his own plane to visit their newly built World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Earl’s undertaking caught on, and with the help of Jeff Miller, spread to other pilots who began escorting veterans to Washington, D.C. By the end of 2012 Honor Flight has helped 98,500 World War II veterans see their memorial.
Recently one of our own Mortgage Bankers was able to participate in an Honor Flight. Here is their experience with the Honor Flight program as a representative of Loan One.
As a sponsor, Loan One was offered the opportunity to send one person to go to Washington DC with a veteran through the Honor’s Flight program. I jumped in and volunteered and had a once in a lifetime experience. Arrival at the airport was a bit harsh (4:30 AM) but I was welcomed by the smiles of the “ground crew” of volunteers coming to make sure every veteran participating was welcomed and had no questions as to where they should go to get on the flight and enjoy an early morning breakfast.
Throughout the day, the trip was filled with wonderful moments. As a guardian, I was assigned a veteran to take care of for the day. I was given his phone number prior to the flight and we made plans to meet that morning. He wasn’t supposed to come until 5:30 but he had been there since 3:00 to make sure he did NOT MISS THE FLIGHT! Together we flew to Annapolis and there we were greeted by two fire engines on the runway with lights flashing and spraying water up over the plane in honor of the precious cargo we were carrying, our veterans. Going into the airport we were greeted by several current service men/women to shake hands with the vets and thank them for their service to our country.
From there, we went to see the many monuments including World War II Memorial, Korean Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington Monument, Changing of the Guards, Three Soldiers, Vietnam women’s memorial, and Arlington. The trip was a big thank you to the veterans who served our country and a silent moment to honor the veterans who did not make it back.
The day was full of smiles, memories and appreciation. People throughout the tour stopped the vets to shake their hand and say thanks. We returned to about 250-300 people welcoming us back to Columbus including family, friends, veterans who have participated in the flight in the past, members of the OSU band, a bagpipe musician and TAPS being played for the veterans who did not make it home. The whole experience was priceless to me. Some thanked me along the way for volunteering but I feel like it was me who is most thankful for the opportunity to meet my new friend Al and spend the day thanking and showing much deserved appreciation to the entire group of veterans on the 59th FLIGHT out of Columbus.
To apply, veterans should go to www.honorflightcolumbus.org for an application. You should also go to this site if you would like to volunteer or donate funds. Each flight is $65,000!
Honor Flight’s mission is very important to us here at Loan One. We believe in serving the people who serve us and recognizing our nation’s heroes. We are proud supporters and participants of Honor Flight.
Our commitment to serving our veterans also includes VA Loans and working with you to make the VA loan process as easy and straightforward as possible. With veterans on staff we can offer insider knowledge on applying for VA loans since some of our own mortgage bankers have gone through the process themselves.