WWII veterans welcomed home from Honor Flight

Janice Pell

Fifteen members of TWOQC joined a crowd estimated at over three hundred—the largest turnout ever—on June 27 to enthusiastically welcome home twenty three WWII veterans from a three day Honor Flight to Washington D.C. The women were excited to have the chance to not only show their support to all the veterans, but also to welcome home and meet Betty Mae Perkins, the former Navy Wave, whose trip TWOQC sponsored.

Anyone having attended one these homecomings can attest to what a moving experience it is to have the chance to show appreciation to these brave true American heroes and to witness their amazement and joy at being so honored and welcomed. Upon their arrival at the Tucson International Airport, the veterans and the guardians who accompanied them on the trip were greeted by a military honor guard. Then they made their way through a corridor formed by the crowd who were waving flags, cheering, clapping and saluting. Many people eagerly reached out to shake the veterans’ hands. It was a very emotional few minutes for the veterans and the crowd of well wishers.

It was a surprise to learn that Betty’s guardian for the trip had been Karen Baker, a member of TWOQC. They were a perfect pairing. The Red Cross honored Betty by asking to interview her about her military experience. That interview will become part of the public record in The Library of Congress. TWOQC Club will have a chance to meet Betty and hear about her response to the trip at a fall meeting.

One hundred ten letters were written by members of Quail Creek community thanking the individual vets for their service. Bags of letters, cards and notes were given to the veterans to read on their return trip. TWOQC thanks everyone who took the time to write a note or card. Your letters meant a great deal to the veterans. There are planned Honor Flights for fall and TWOQC will again list the names of the veterans chosen to go once they are announced for those wishing to write notes expressing appreciation to them.

Visit TWOQC website at www.womenqc.com to learn more about the Honor Flight homecoming and see photos. v