One last mission

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (October 30, 2013) — It may have taken over six decades, but Army Scout veteran Herbert Walker can finally say his WWII mission is complete. This August the ResCare HomeCare client and over 30 other WWII veterans flew to Washington, D.C., free of charge, on what has been dubbed the Honor Flight. The annual program was created in 2004 to give veterans a chance to visit the memorials constructed in honor of their service and in memory of fellow troops lost to war.

Army Scout Veteran Herbert Walker and Client Services Supervisor Holly Thornton

From left, Army Scout Veteran Herbert Walker and Client Services Supervisor Holly Thornton flew from Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Washington, D.C. with the help of an Honor Flight guardian sponsorship and ResCare HomeCare.

Mr. Walker’s visit wouldn’t have been possible without ResCare HomeCare Client Services Supervisor Holly Thornton, who accompanied him on the tip.

“From the beginning of the day, I realized how special this trip was going to be for Mr. Walker,” Ms. Thornton said.

Herbert Walker

Herbert Walker was able to complete his final mission as an Army Scout veteran when he visited Washington, D.C.’s World War II Memorial.

The pair began their journey at the Myrtle Beach airport where Mr. Walker shared with Ms. Thornton his experiences as an Army Scout. Once the two arrived in Washington, D.C., they were greeted by Honor Flight representatives and members from the community showing their gratitude to the war veterans for their service.

At the Navy Memorial, Mr. Walker stopped and stared at the sculptures which brought back memories he hadn’t thought of in a long time. Ms. Thornton listened attentively as he told her about the work he did in WWII.

In addition to the Navy Memorial, they attended the Changing of the Guard ceremony and wreath ceremony for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Everything fell into place, though, at the last destination of the day, the World War II Memorial. Mr. Walker gazed at his surroundings and held his head high to be a part of such a stunning memorial.

World War II veterans

Over 30 World War II veterans were escorted on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials created in their honor.

At the conclusion of the day, the two once again boarded a flight to return home. As a souvenir of their trip, each veteran was given a package from the local elementary school that included letters from children thanking them for their service.

“He and I were able to read all the letters on the flight,” Ms. Thornton said, “He was very touched.”

Mr. Walker and Ms. Thornton thought their trip ended in Washington, D.C., so they were surprised when they were greeted at the Myrtle Beach airport with swing music from the World War II era, a red carpet at their feet and a cheering crowd welcoming them back home with smiles and gratefulness.

“That day will forever be cherished in my heart,” Ms. Thornton said. “It broke me down into tears. The Honor Flight was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had.”

Since the creation of the monuments in 2004, the Honor Flight has helped over 98,000 veterans visit the memorials. The Honor Flight is a non-profit organization whose mission is to get our veterans the recognition they deserve. For more information about these flights, please visit The Honor Flight’s homepage.

Author: Moriah Dietrich