Nov. 6, 2013
WASHINGTON– Members of the Georgetown University baseball team took time away from their midterm preparations and baseball activities this past Saturday as they partnered with the Honor Flight Network to guide Korean and World War II (WWII) veterans around their memorials in Washington, DC.
The Honor Flight Network, established in 2005, strives to transport veterans from around the country, who are willing and able to get on a flight, to their respective memorials. The process is all-inclusive for the group of veterans, from the departing and returning flights, to the tour buses that guide them around our nation’s capital.
The baseball team assisted in each part of the process. A group of Hoyas met the group of veterans from Huntington, West Virginia, as they arrived at Reagan National Airport in the morning. The players then escorted the veterans onto their tour buses and traveled with them to their first stop of the day, the WWII memorial.
The rest of the Hoya baseball team awaited the veterans at the memorial, and took turns walking along the veterans, listening to their stories, and assisting them with anything they needed.
The tour continued with the players and veterans visiting various other memorials around the capital, including the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima), and the Air Force Memorial. The day concluded with the players bringing the veterans back to the airport and seeing them on their way.
"My partner, Jack Schumacher, and I reached out to the Honor Flight Network hubs for the Nov. 2 weekend”, said junior pitcher Max Allen (Highland Park Ill./ Highland Park), who was one of the driving forces for the connection, “We received an immediate response from the Huntington, W.V. hub, and the rest was smooth sailing.”
“The Honor Flight Network represents America’s appreciation for those who selflessly fought for our freedom”, continued Allen, “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and thank our nation’s heroes because without them we would not be where we are today.”
This was the first time that the Georgetown baseball team volunteered with the Honor Flight Network, but from sentiment among the players, it looks like it will not be the last.
“When Max came to me with this idea I was ecstatic,” Hoyas head coach Pete Wilk said. “My dad is a WWII veteran and the Honor Flight cause is near and dear to my heart. I was thrilled to see our student/athletes show an interest in what some are calling the Greatest Generation. It was a great day and I was humbled to walk among such men last Saturday and proud of my guys for their interest and participation.”
The Hoyas begin spring practice February 1 and have their first contest against Marshall on February 15.