HONOR FLIGHT FOR VETS – THE UNDER APPRECIATED


Would it be possible for a daughter to be more proud of her father?  I think not.  I am proud to tell you that my father, TSgt. Bill Thoms Sr. (USAF ret.) was among 40 war veterans chosen to make an Honor Flight.  Veterans of WWII, the Korean conflict, and Vietnam war boarded a flight out of Austin, Texas on September 7, 2018, destination Washington DC.  The goal:  giving these under appreciated vets a chance to view, touch, and acknowledge the war memorials erected to serve as a reminder of hard-fought freedom, a service they provided with their blood, sweat, and tears.  Oh, I know that’s a cliche, but do you see the truth in it? Can you imagine what these men and women went through, what they saw, how they felt?  I can’t.  Although I was raised an Air Force brat, all I knew as a child was that Daddy was always gone somewhere across the world.  I was too young to understand the whys and wherefores but I do remember the fear that plagued the hearts of my older brother and I while he was at war.

Dad is a veteran of Korea and Vietnam wars. He offered 22 years of his life to the United States Air Force.  He served his country with an uncommon pride. He was a good leader and teacher who had a heart for the young airman he ‘sarged’ who were away from their families and were decidedly homesick.  He would bring them home on weekends and holidays to ease their angst.

Another thing about Dad, he loves his family.  His grandson Will accompanied him as his required guardian – as if he needed one!  (Even at 87, Dad is amazingly with it.)  It was just as important and moving for the grandson as it was for the grandfather.  How lucky was Will and what an awesome opportunity!  I’d be willing to bet these two share memories that will have a lasting impact on the rest of their lives.  No doubt, no doubt at all.

Please enjoy the following pictures of this dream-come-true trip made possible by Honor Flight Austin.  It is a privilege for me to share them.

 

 

 

 

 

Dad and Will getting ready to leave.  And no, that’s not a hat on Dad’s head.  Honored to accompany the Vets was Brian Manley, Austin Chief of Police.

dad escort Honor Flight Escort

 

 

 

 

 

dad in the middleLook at these wonderful Vets!  Dad is the 4th one in the second row.

 

 

 

 

 

Dad getting chummy with the President.  The Air Force Monument, and the boys in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

IMG-1367 Air Force Memorial with the Pentagon in the background.  He served them and he served them well.

 thumbnail_IMG-1363              Dad proudly sitting in front of the WWII memorial, Texas pillar.  Too young to serve in that war, but proud nevertheless.

viet nam mem  The Vietnam Memorial Wall.   His opportunity to see it is long past due.  Bless his heart.

thumbnail_IMG-1373 Air Force Monument.  I can imagine Dad just about burst at the seams when he saw this one.  For many years the Air Force was his life.

tomb of the unk solAt the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Dad is the 3rd from the left.

Please note the link I have included.  It is from the Fox 7 news in Austin, Texas.    Really good viewing that shows the Vet’s parade, etc.

http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/honor-flight-brings-40-veterans-to-washington-dc

AND THEN THERE WAS THE WELCOME HOME!

 

 

 

 

 

On the flight back to Austin, our vets received letters from loved ones and friends thanking them for their service.  Lots of love and tears were aboard that flight.  Once they landed in Austin, look out!  Please enjoy the following, it’s well worth the view.

 

 

I understand that all veterans deserve to be recognized.  Each and every one deserves to be saluted for their contribution, their sacrifices.  They deserve to be honored.  And by the way, I do include our men and women in the Middle East even as we speak.  I thank them all for their service.

Bill, Scott,and I, with our spouses, as well as all your grandchildren, want to thank you, Dad, for your service.  I do believe that serving your country was the most extraordinary and accomplished thing you have ever done.

Please pray for peace.  This blog post should convince you that we should pray and pray hard for peace in the world.  We’ve lost too many soldiers and loved ones.  It’s a sad, sad thing.

Eternal Father, we praise you for helping us get through these man-made conflicts that break hearts and destroy humanity.  Thank you, Lord, for these Vets who serve their country.  We ask, Lord, for your compassion and mercy for the days ahead.  We pray for peace!  Amen

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Please note:  Photo cred goes to Tina Lea of HONOR FLIGHT AUSTIN.

 

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Dreams really do come true! (call me Cinderella)


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I never had mean ugly step-sisters and I already have my prince so what is it that could get me so excited?  MY BOOK IS PUBLISHED!  Yay me!

So this is my very own dream come true, the very first listing on my Bucket List, something I have always wanted to do.  All of that.  I am very happy about it.  It’s not about money (not at all because royalties are NOT what you would think!) and it’s not about dreaming of the best seller’s lists.  It’s about finally having the confidence to allow myself to have a dream and strive to bring it to fruition.  I am almost 59 years old and for about 55 of those years I have wanted to be a writer.  Oh, I have writen but only to myself.  I was too shy (believe it or not) to share that part of me with anyone else.  THE OLD LADIES’ CLUB isn’t actually my first book but, honestly, it’s the only one that I liked enough to pursue publishing, unless of course you count the one I really loved that I lost somewhere into cyber-space.  Not tech-savvy, not confident, I gave up on that one.  But I do hope to ressurect it one day.  Maybe.

The next one I wrote – whoooo boy – I must have been in a really bad place mentally because it was horrible!  Glad I didn’t share that with anyone.  It was full of blood, murder, suspense and mystery.  I’m leaving that one in the manuscript graveyard.  ewwww.  Trust me, you wouldn’t want to read it.

The next one I wrote was another mystery but not nearly as ugly.  I kind of enjoyed that but because I needed to concentrate on the old ladies in my head, I had to set it aside.  I’ll go back to it one day.

The one I want to write now feels like it’s going to be a good one.  It, too, is a mystery and a throw-back to my days in the medical field.  Based on an actual conversation I had with a patient, I will elaborate, exaggerate, and infer poetic license to flesh out the story.  I can’t wait!

So back to THE OLD LADIES’ CLUB…..   It was very difficult, at first, to keep all of the characters of the story in their place.  They are a rowdy bunch and usually do what they want to.  The story is about five best friends who live in a retirement community built by two of their sons specifically for them.  At this late date, their lives are turned upside down and around and around when a new resident moves in and decades old secrets are spilled.  My old ladies are funny, charming, adventurous, and feel like they have never aged.  They like traveling, helping others, romance and each other.  They don’t like people who lie, sneak around, or try to use them.

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I hope you read my book and enjoy it as much as I did writing it – that is, except for the editing part – I may never get over that!  If you’re interested, it can be purchased from http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-of-the-old-ladies-club-nan-tubre/1114583438  or  http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Old-Ladies-Club-Tubre/dp/1475975147/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362781680&sr=8-1&keywords=secrets+of+the+old+ladies+club

Of course it wouldn’t hurt to ask your local book store or library to order it from Iuniverse.  It comes in hard-cover, paperback, and ebook!