Roy Veteran Takes Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

By Brandon Hansen / For the Nisqually Valley News
Posted 5/24/22

Bob Dimond and his son John embarked on  a trip of a lifetime recently after multiple COVID-19 related postponements.

Bob, who is a Roy resident, served in the U.S. Army for 22 years as a …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Roy Veteran Takes Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

Posted

Bob Dimond and his son John embarked on  a trip of a lifetime recently after multiple COVID-19 related postponements.

Bob, who is a Roy resident, served in the U.S. Army for 22 years as a Green Beret. He was able to take part in a Puget Sound Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. after it had been delayed for two years due to COVID-19.

“We’re not sure who nominated him, but we found out two years ago and things had kind of been on hold because of the virus,” John said.

That changed on Saturday, May 14 as they left on a flight with 55 other veterans and 110 people total at 7 a.m. that day, returning around 7 p.m. on Monday, May 16.

What they experienced was a moving weekend for both Dimond men. While in D.C., the Dimonds went to the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the FDR and MLK memorials, the Navy Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Air Force Memorial.

“I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else,” John said. “The memorials and sights we saw through his eyes were awesome. It was great to spend the time with him on a trip of a lifetime.”

Puget Sound Honor Flights are open to veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Veterans travel with a guardian in a well-organized trip through the nation’s capitol.

Bob, who retired from the military as a master sergeant, spent a lot of time overseas in places like Europe, Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia and Thailand.

“When I was in the military I was gone a lot and one day my wife said ‘you know your son is graduating from high school,’” Bob said. “It just dawned on me all my life I was gone in the military and she took care of the kids, so I decided then and there it was time to retire and get to know my kids.”

The honor flight was two-fold as it provided Bob with an opportunity to pay his respects to fallen soldiers and get thanked for his service, but also to spend time with his son John.



“It was a fantastic time,” Bob said. “They did a really good job putting this one together. We didn’t know any of the veterans on the flight. We were all strangers, but we were still brothers in arms and it didn’t matter what service. We all got along really well and everybody accepted everybody.”

An honor guard saw the veterans off at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and when they got off the plane. During their time in Washington, D.C., a motorcycle escort moved them through the crowded traffic of the capitol. Wherever they went, there were people lining the pathways to thank the veterans for their service.

Bob said he had already been to D.C. a couple of times but the recent trip really stuck with him.

“It felt so wonderful,” Bob said. “When we went to the Vietnam Wall, I had so many friends on that wall so I just had tears in my eyes.”

Bob said he also saw a lot of school kids at the various memorials around the capitol.

“Running through my head I wondered how many of these kids actually know and appreciate what these servicemen did for them and for the country,” Bob said. “I hope and pray to God they know what the military does to protect this country.”

On the way home, the group held a mail call where friends and relatives wrote letters to Bob and the other veterans. They then presented the veterans with big packages of letters.

“I just had tears in my eyes opening up all these letters,” Bob said.

When they got home, active duty military members from the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force escorted the honored veterans down to the baggage claim. Everyone from general on down to privates thanked the vets for their service.

“It was a welcome home ceremony out of this world,” Bob said.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here