2019 Honor Flight
Mr. Schad had the opportunity and privilege to accompany a 22 year Army veteran of the Vietnam War on the Honor Flight to Washington, DC on Tuesday, May 21. Upon returning to Cincinnati, they were greeted and welcomed home by a large group of supporters, including students, faculty and staff of Roger Bacon.
Mr. Schad captures the experience and emotion of the homecoming in his reflection below:
I know it came at the end of a long day for all of you, but rest assured the 86 veterans on the flight appreciated your efforts and sentiments. I am sure you saw the veterans reactions – some were crying…most were overwhelmed…all were appreciative.
The veteran that I accompanied, Ray, was 83 years old. He spent 22 years in the Kentucky National Guard, including being deployed to Vietnam in 1968-1969. He was a Battery Chief and was in charge of one 155mm self-propelled howitzer and the 10 man crew. I spent all day with this fine man, talking about his personal life, experiences in Vietnam and the military, and sometimes, just life in general. We walked together at the Vietnam Memorial and touched the names of friends he lost in Vietnam. He heard my stories about Roger Bacon and how much being a part of the Spartan family meant to me.
When we returned to the Cincinnati airport and it was evident there was a crowd gathered, I know he was both excited and a little sad – he had no family there. His wife had passed away and his son lives in California and could not attend. When he came to the RB crowd, he said to Ms. Wilson: “I don’t have family here.” The response was pure Roger Bacon: “Yes you do – you are part of the Spartan family.”
At that point, he began to cry and I knew he felt appreciated and loved. You being there made such an impression and had such an impact. I do not know if I have ever been more proud.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to pay tribute to all of the veterans on the flight, and particularly Ray. I am so extremely happy I was able to share the experience of Honor Flight with you.