Reporting an act of kindness and patriotism

Jay R. Strisik, MSW, ACSW

I just returned from the Honor Flight Arizona. For those who do not know, this is a privately financed program run by all volunteers that flies WWII veterans for a three-day trip to Washington, D.C. to view the national monuments there.

During this trip I was inspired by our awesome monuments but more impressed by the overwhelming thrill of being applauded wherever we went. Schoolchildren as well gave us notes of admiration and also applauded.

But the purpose of this article is to cite our taxi driver who transported us from our home to the airport. He insisted it was at no charge. He is Duane Vandenberg who drives for Terry’s Transportation.

On an earlier trip with Duane, we mentioned preparing for the Honor Flight experience and he immediately insisted that he drive us there and also drive my wife back home after my departure. His company also agreed to the pro bono.

Duane accompanied us into the airport where the group was gathering. There were the group of 20 odd ex-GIs, average age 93, many in wheelchairs. Duane stopped at each one of the oldsters and quietly expressed his admiration of their contribution. It was a kind act and a genuine patriotic one.

I thank Duane for his fine character and it ought not to go unrecognized.