Oak Hill veterans take virtual honor flight - Republic-Times | News

Oak Hill veterans take virtual honor flight

By on June 20, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Veterans residing at Oak Hill in Waterloo salute after the singing of “God Bless America.” (James “Tal” Moss photo)

Within moments of the program beginning, a hush fell over the room as chaplain Ron Chase was pushed up toward the front of the room in his wheelchair. 

When he arrived at the front, Chase pushed himself up with his arms, standing confidently. 

 “God bless America,” he intoned before praying and sitting down. 

Thus began the virtual honor flight Thursday at Oak Hill senior care center in Waterloo.

For a typical honor flight, the nonprofit Honor Flight Network takes veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials of their respective wars. This is free for veterans. 

But, for health reasons, not all veterans can make such a trip. Instead, some get the opportunity to attend virtual honor flight programs, which include a video showcasing the war memorials in D.C.

“The chances of (our resident veterans) being able to do (an honor flight) are slim to none,” Oak Hill activity director and volunteer coordinator Brook Cowell said. “I feel very honored that we are getting this opportunity to give this to our veterans and our residents as a whole and our community.”

Cowell got the idea for the event after Kim Johnson from Hospice of Southern Illinois approached her in April with the opportunity. 

Hospice of Southern Illinois provides a wide range of hospice services to 27 regional communities. Each year, the nonprofit chooses nursing homes to co-sponsor programs like the virtual honor flight.

This year, it selected Oak Hill. 

“Oak Hill is very community minded so we wanted to honor our Oak Hill veterans,” Johnson said…>>> 

Read the rest of this article in the June 20, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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James Moss