Recently, one of the Military Success Network team has taken on what he feels is a privileged opportunity. He chooses to rise even earlier now on some Saturdays and to join about 70 or so veterans for breakfast. On each occasion he shares in the company and stories of veterans in America.
They comprise men and women of the American military period since WW2. They gather every week in Loveland, Colorado.
Last week he brought a flier along with him. It was about the movie Honor Flight set for special screening at the CSU, Colorado State University. The Honor Flight movie shares the stories of some of the heroes who have been impacted by the program which brings together veterans to spend time with their brothers and sisters in arms. More follows on the movie, the destination and the special event in Colorado that connected generations on a snowy night at the movies this week.
On Tuesday April 9, at 7:00 p.m, Colorado State University Campus (CSU), was the 2nd national screening of this film at a university in the USA. It played to a packed house including students, faculty, community and many WWII, Korean and Vietnam War Veterans.
Cadets had a chance to talk with veterans and so new bonds were formed between generations of military service members.
Several audience members were motivated to contact WW II vets, for whom time is shortest. Together they will plan to take advantage of the Honor Flight program and bring them together in Washington with their brothers and sisters in arms.
“Honor Flight the Movie” was supported by numerous campus organizations and was jointly presentation by the:
- Lory Student Center
- CSU Army and Air Force ROTC
- Student Veteran Organization and
- CSU History Club…and others
Admission charge: free. Experience: priceless and enduring.
“I’ve made a date to pick up my three eldest grand kids in Fort Collins. I want them to learn some about the program and why it is so important. To me, it feels most important to have them exposed to the stories and the people who made our nation possible,” said one of the veterans from the original breakfast gathering. (see upcoming MilSuccessNet posts for more details on this group.)
The text that follows is taken directly from Honor Flight The Movie website itself and describes in a nutshell what you might like to know about the film, Honor Flight:
Honor Flight is a heartwarming documentary about four living World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime. Volunteers race against the clock to fly thousands of WWII veterans to Washington, DC to see the memorial constructed for them in 2004, nearly 60 years after their epic struggle.
The trips are called “Honor Flights” and for the veterans, who are in their late 80s and early 90s, it’s often the first time they’ve been thanked and the last trip of their lives. The 24-hour journey is full of surprises that deeply move all who are involved. It’s uncommon for World War II veterans to talk about the War, but the Honor Flight experience brings their stories out. Many veterans say, with the exception of their wedding day and the birth of their children, the trip is the best day of their life.
However, success is all but ensured. 1,000 World War II veterans die every day and getting them on an Honor Flight in time is a constant battle. The film features Orville Lemke, a former plumber and beloved father of nine who fights to hold off terminal cancer so he can make the trip, and Julian Plaster, an 89-year-old poet who has survived almost all of his friends and family.
Honor Flight also chronicles the stories of veterans Joe Demler and Harvey Kurz. They raise money for and promote the Honor Flight program to help fly as many of their fellow veterans as possible. Joe, a soft-spoken retired postmaster, was famously pictured in Life magazine as “the Human Skeleton” upon his liberation from a German POW camp. Days from death, he weighed just 70 lbs. His comedic sidekick, Harvey, saw the iconic flag go up at the Battle of Iwo Jima, unbeknownst to the shoppers he bags groceries for at the local Pick n’ Save.
As the Honor Flight trip unfolds, Orville, Julian, Joe, Harvey and others share their stories and wisdom. While the Honor Flight program is meant to give something back to these humble heroes, the sheer goodness they embody and their profound appreciation for life in freedom, transforms the lives of everyone they meet.
ABOUT THE CAUSE
The Honor Flight Network is a nonprofit organization that has flown over 100,000 veterans to Washington, DC. It consists of 117 hubs across the country. If you’d like to get involved or donate to the cause, please visit this www.honorflight.org.
The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is the Milwaukee-based Honor Flight hub featured in the film. Learn more about them at www.starsandstripeshonorflight.org.
Helping fly veterans on Honor Flights is one way to get involved, capturing vets’ stories is another. Through its Veterans History Project, the Library of Congress has collected and preserved over 80,000 personal accounts of American war veterans. Learn more about the project at www.loc.gov/vets.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Dan Hayes (Director) and Clay Broga (Producer)
In late 2010, Dan Hayes and Clay Broga created Freethink Media, a production company devoted to telling stories about freedom, human well-being and achievement. While making Honor Flight, Hayes, Broga and their team of talented artists and communicators have built a successful for-client business. They’ve produced dozens of short web-based films and served as a creative agency for nonprofit and corporate brands. Their work has been featured on major networks such as NBC and FOX and popular shows including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. Fast Company magazine praised Freethink’s stylistic approach and innovation for work they did in 2011.
If you missed the trailer, here it is. (I dare you not to shed a tear.)
Hayes and Broga are occasional blog contributors for The Huffington Post’s entertainment section. Previously, Hayes was a producer for online video channel ReasonTV, and Broga was a writer, video producer and marketing specialist for various nonprofits.
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