Sword & Shield

A mission of gratitude: Virtual Honor Flight

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A mission of gratitude: Virtual Honor Flight

Anna Winslow, Editor-in-Chief

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Of the many events South Plantation hosts every year, one event in particular stands out for its honorable mission and goal. Virtual Honor Flight, organized by South’s JROTC and Honor Flight South Florida, allows veterans to experience a visit to Washington D.C without leaving South Florida.
“Many [veterans] weren’t appreciated, when they came back from war,” said Zhijian Doylet, JROTC member. “We’re honoring them because they deserve it.”
Doylet, who is second in command in Delta Company, has participated in Virtual Honor Flight for three years. She, along with other JROTC members help to make the veterans as comfortable as possible during the experience.
“A lot of them called us ‘kiddos’ and ‘champs’,” she said.
Veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and other eras are in attendance, and each represents an important part of United States history and culture.
During Virtual Honor flight, veterans are welcomed by students, faculty and community members. Waving flags and holding signs of thanks, each person plays a role in the larger picture of gratitude.
Then, veterans and family members join in the magnet amphitheatre to view a 40 minute documentary. The documentary takes each viewer on a trip to Washington D.C, from the airport to the many monuments dedicated to those who served in wars.
“[Virtual Honor Flight] is a lot of hard work,” Doylet said. “But we do it because we want veterans to feel appreciated for their service.”
Although this is South’s third year hosting Virtual Honor Flight, JROTC plans to continue the tradition. Each year, the organization continues to instill a sense of pride and gratitude in all those involved.
Through the program, JROTC members see the perspective of veterans who sacrificed everything for their country.
“[Honor Flight] is an opportunity to work with veterans and understand their perspective,” said JROTC member Damari Lindner. “I’ve learned how important it is to appreciate those who came before us and the sacrifices people have made to give us our freedom.”

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A mission of gratitude: Virtual Honor Flight