Brown County Health & Living resident Bill Taylor thought he was going to miss this month’s Honor Flight, which takes senior veterans like himself to Washington, D.C. to visit war memorials and reflect upon their time in the service.
A week prior to the trip, Bill was discharged from the hospital after treatment for pneumonia. But he didn’t let that stop him from taking this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Every day that week, he walked before and after each meal to prepare for the tour of the memorials. Fortunately, Bill was able to go without the aid of a wheelchair. His son joined him as well.
Traveling was Bill’s favorite part of serving in the Air Force. Between 1962 and 1966, he flew through France, Iran, Libya, Okinawa, the Philippines and Thailand. He also served as a crew chief of a C-130 Hercules jet during the Vietnam War.
“I got to see a lot of the world, and my time in the service made me appreciate the good ol’ U.S. of A. even more as well,” he said.
His patriotic spirit swelled during the D.C. trip as he swapped stories with World War II, Korean War and fellow Vietnam War veterans. A total of 85 vets attended. (All honored veterans traveled at no cost.)
When they landed in D.C. to visit their respective war memorials, they were greeted by hordes of people eager to thank them for their service. Their return to Indiana included a tribute ceremony at Plainfield High School, where residents of all ages were equally excited to see the heroes. When he walked into the school, two women kissed Bill on each cheek, leaving him with lipstick stains that he wore with pride. He didn’t even wash them off before he went to bed that night.
“I shook more people’s hands that day than I’ve ever shook in my entire life,” he said. “They put on a great show for us. I highly recommend the Honor Flight to anyone who can go.”