posted on: 11/11/2019 2:53:32 PM
Since September 2007, Gary Hurd, IT Help Desk Representative at Lima Memorial, and his wife Deb, an Ottawa Dental Hygienist, have been volunteering as guardians for the Honor Flight, the national non-profit organization that flies veterans to Washington D.C. to see their memorials. For them, it was an easy decision to become a part of such an inspirational and moving organization. Originally invited by his cousin to the Columbus airport to welcome back an Honor Flight, Gary and his wife Deb found themselves sitting with a veteran as he waited for his family to pick him up from the airport. When they asked the veteran how the trip went, the Veteran responded, “Besides the day I got married and the day my children were born, this was the best day of my life.” It was then that Gary and Deb knew they wanted to be a part of Honor Flight Columbus.
“It’s not about us. It’s 100% not about us. It’s about the Veteran that we’re talking to,” explained Gary. “The history of what happened during WWII is dying by one veteran per minute. The only way to get that history out is to talk to them, or to make sure that someone does.”
Just recently, Gary and Deb flew with more than 200 local veterans to the nation’s capital. During the day trip, World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans toured Washington D.C. and had the opportunity to visit many of the city’s memorials. When they returned home, the veterans were greeted at the John Glenn International Air Port with bag pipes and a large crowed of family and friends. There were even strangers in the crowed who just wanted to welcome them home. This trip marked the 100th flight coordinated by Columbus Honor Flight. In 2018, there were 19,383 veterans flown on the Honor Flight and there are 38,054 on the waiting list. Veterans who take the Honor Flight are flown free of charge.
Lima Memorial recognizes Gary and Deb for their selfless support of our local veterans and their humbling display of great care to their community and their nation.
To find out how you can support this wonderful cause and help a WWII vet see their memorial before it’s too late, Please visit HonorFlight.org.