2009 Texas Panhandle Honor Flight: Part 4, Family on the Trip

Amarillo, TX  --   While close to 80 Area World War II Veterans had an experience of a life time during the three day Texas Panhandle Honor Flight in Washington, DC, many of them didn't experience this trip alone.

Navy Chief Brownlee McMahon spent World War II sailing and fighting in the waters around Europe.

His son, Soldier Scott McMahon, is getting ready to ship off to Afghanistan for another tour of duty in the current war.

Before he leaves though, he traveled with his dad on the 2009 Texas Panhandle Honor Flight.

Brownlee says, "I'm really proud he came along. We're getting to spend some quality time together. "

Scott McMahon is just one of the numerous sons, daughters, wives, and even some grandchildren that paid their own way, $1600 a person, to share the experience with their loved one.

Dr. Brian Eades, on the trip with his dad, says, "I'm taking this opportunity to go back and quiz him about things to make sure I understand and put it all together. But I've also found that the other vets are willing to talk about their experiences."

It's those experiences drawn out by visiting the World War II Memorial, and other monuments and memorials, that make the trip enriching for all of the guardians, those who didn't serve in World War II, whether they have a loved one on the trip or not.

State Representative Warren Chisum says, "There's some great stories. I think I enjoy the stories more than anything else. These guys were actually in the fox holes."

Because they made it out of the fox holes alive, they want to share their stories to make sure those who didn't, didn't die in vain.

Retired Marine Donald Smyth, who served in World War II and Korea, says, "It's hard for people to get it through their mind that these guys gave the maximum sacrifice for just our freedom to speak. "

For the McMahons, it was a last chance to spend special time together, before Scott leaves for war again to continue the defense of our freedom.

Scott says, "Every son that's got a dad in the military, especially World War II, should participate in an event like this. ... It's really neat hearing his stories, comparing our stories, and seeing how there are soldiers that are still wanting to support this Nation."

A Nation that remains free because of the sacrifices of generations of warriors, who believed and fought for a deeper purpose than their own self.