OhioHealth Volunteers Bring Comfort and Care to Honor Flight Passengers
A heartwarming initiative has been soaring high here in Columbus, Ohio for 18 years. Bridging the gap between gratitude and service, Honor Flight Columbus is dedicated to giving our nation’s veterans a salute they so richly deserve. Among their volunteers, Cyndole Messer and Maelee Hall from OhioHealth.
“I always tell them, you know, you put your life on the line, you literally were willing to die for my family,” said Messer. “It is the least I can do, is to go and take you to DC and let you get to see these memorials that are here because of you.”
These flights allow veterans to visit important memorials and monuments dedicated to their service. Volunteers take on the role of guardians, guiding these heroes on their journey while ensuring their safety and comfort.
“We’re considered as medical point people. So, if you’re not around a medic or if you need something or if you’re just not sure and ask questions, that’s what we’re kind of there for,” explained Hall.
“I think it puts veterans and their families at ease, knowing that the people that are caring for your loved ones all day long do have a medical background,” said Messer.
This relationship goes far beyond medical expertise, it’s about companionship—lending a listening ear to the stories that have shaped the lives of these remarkable veterans.
“Every flight is emotional. Every flight brings on a new experience because it’s different veterans, it’s different stories. When they get there and they see that it’s okay to talk about it and it’s okay to open-up, a lot of healing happens,” said Messer.
“You just hear those stories or whenever your veterans text you the next day or call you weeks later and just tell you, ‘Hey I was just thinking about you. That day was the best day of my life,’” said Hall.
The bond created between these guardians and veterans is one of tremendous significance.
“They always ask me that, ‘What do you hope to get out of today?’ If I can get just the smiles on their faces and the stories out of it, being here with you guys is enough,” said Hall.
A lifetime of service, and new friendships that will last just as long.
“I think I have found friends for life,” Messer shared.
With the latest OhioHealth news, I’m Marcus Thorpe.
To learn more about Honor Flight Columbus, click here.