Non-profit takes military vets on one more mission to visit war memorials




Posted on August 16, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 16 at 10:46 PM

DALLAS -- Eighty-nine-year-old Dallas lawyer Joe Geary took a trip of a lifetime to Washington D.C. in June, and he still can't stop talking about it.

Geary, a highly-decorated World War II veteran, joined two dozen other aging vets on an Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial.

Honor Flight is a nationwide non-profit organization that aims to pay tribute to the "Greatest Generation" and other vets by making sure they get to our nation's capital to visit "their" memorial.

Geary said the whirlwind trek to D.C. needs to  be on every World War II vets' bucket list.

"It was just an outstanding and real emotional experience," Geary said. "It just brings back memories of your friends you don't see any more. Of the 10 in our crew, I'm the last one alive."

Geary and his crew flew 50 missions over Europe in World War II, earning him the Distinguished Flying Cross and France's highest military decoration, the French Legion of Honor.

He admits some vets don't talk much about their time in the Big War, but many open up and swap stories with strangers on the Honor Flight.

"It makes for healthier relationships to know what all has happened [in combat,]" he added.

Honor Flight DFW plans three trips to Washington this fall. 150 old warriors are on the waiting list.

All vets have to do is apply -- the trip is free, staffed entirely by volunteers, who attend as "guardians."

Tudy Giordano, who's a registered nurse, has volunteered for all 14 DFW Honor Flights.

"They call it Honor Flight," she said, "but it's really our honor to travel with these veterans."

Click here to learn more about Honor Flight DFW

On Sunday, Aug. 18 at noon, News 8's Gloria Campos will host a special screening of a documentary: Honor Flight: One Last Mission at the Angelika Theatre in Dallas. The $10 tickets benefit Honor Flight DFW.