Monday, April 9, 2012

The Daily Barker
Extra! Extra!  Read all about it!

SEGD Puppies in Training to Welcome Honor Flight Veterans!

The Honor Flight Network sponsored an honor flight from the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport in honor of WWII Veterans.

The HFN is an organization which provides veterans the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and visit the war memorial sites dedicated to their service.  Currently, the program is focused on World War II Veterans but will transition to Korean War, Vietnam War, and all other veterans who have served in a chronological order, in addition to all terminally ill veterans no matter which war they have served.

On Tuesday, the West Central Florida Chapter flew 74 veterans and their guardians (each veteran is assigned their own guardian for the day) to D.C. and planned a welcome home greeting party for them.  SEGD has a program called Paws for Patriots and The D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) invited the SEGD puppies to the party to help bring awareness to the program.

We arrived at the St. Pete/Clearwater Airport (just in time to see a Coast Guard helicopter land) at 7:00 p.m. along with about 8 or 10 other SEGD puppies and awaited the arrival of the guests of honor.  After some playful greetings with my fellow puppies in training, and lots of attention from the other members of the welcoming party, including the Mayor of St. Petersburg, Bill Foster we found out that the return flight had been cancelled.  Apparently a people-mover at Dulles ran into the plane and caused some damage.  How can someone run into a plane???  It's not exactly like stepping on an ant... What a disappointing end to the evening! 

Gail meets Petey (Melisa) & Eric (David)
(Melisa & David have swapped puppies)

Gail & Petey formally introducing themselves...

Gail & Petey are still trying to figure things out...

Everyone is awaiting the arrival of the Honor Flight

More pictures of the welcoming committee

David & Melissa talking with St. Petersburg Mayor, Bill Foster

Mars & John join the group

Wednesday we received an email that the Honor Flight would be arriving around 12:30 p.m. so Dad came to the office and picked me up to head back to the airport.  Besides us, SEGD puppy in training Petey, the 1st dog of St. Pete, and his Dad, David were there to great the veterans.  Dad spent some time talking to David, and I spent some time playing with Petey while we were awaiting the arrival of the flight.  After awhile we found out that the plane hadn't even left D.C. yet.  They had just completed the repairs to the plane and then were subject to an FAA 72-hour inspection.  The poor vets weren't going to make it home until that evening so Dad took me back to work and dropped me off.

Later that afternoon we received another email that the flight would arrive at 5:20 p.m. so Mom said she would take me down after work.  We arrived at 5:05 p.m. and about half of the veterans had already made it off the plane and through the "red carpet" area.  This time I was the only SEGD puppy there.  Even though the veterans were tired, they were more than happy to spend a few minutes talking with us about the trip.  Several of the local media (TV & newspaper) were there to cover the event.

Mom & me getting ready to greet some veterans

Here's a few of the heros walking the "red carpet"

This veteran really like me...

... and I really like him!

We spent a few moments talking to this nice veteran

The party is over and time to head home...

These events happen all over the country so check out the HFN website for dates in your area - it's an awesome event, and these people deserve a few hours of time out of our busy lives to say thank you for the sacrifices they have made for our country.

No comments:

Post a Comment