I’m processing a lot today and the words just aren’t coming, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll let an image do the talking instead.

In June 2013, I went on my first mission as a photographer with the Historic Triangle Virginia Honor Flight group. Honor Flight is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifices. Veterans from all over the country receive an all expenses paid trip to Washington, DC to see THEIR memorials. It truly is an amazing organization and if you click the links above you can find out more information.

This is Andy. He was a pilot in WWII. If my husband were writing this, he’d be able to tell you the specifics but I know from listening to Andy’s stories that he was involved in some big stuff. In this image he was 91 years young, I believe. He was adjusting to a new life in an assisted living community after losing his beloved wife several months prior. He has a large tattoo of a lady on his left forearm and when asked about it his response was ‘I was young and dumb once’.

I sat across from this amazing gentleman on the bus and he definitely made an impact on my life as we traveled from the east coast of VA to DC and back. But this image…this image was taken as Andy quietly described how he felt after reading a letter from his son (veterans receive mail from family members on their way home). With tears in his eyes, he explained that this letter told him just how much his son and family respected him. He explained that this letter contained sentiments that his son had never expressed. At 91 years of age, Andy found out he was loved and admired more than he realized.

This image spoke more than any story I heard that day. This image speaks the power of honor.


AndyImage Credit: Erin Kass for Honor Flight HTVA

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