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The Athletic Club

of Overland Park
22 May 2014

Kansas City WWII Veteran Shares His Story– Memorial Day 2014

Kansas City WWII Veteran Shares His Story– Memorial Day 2014

A hero in our midst:  Robert South

Kansas is home to a diminishing population of World War II Veterans. Recently I heard about a program that helps WW11 vets travel to the memorial in Washington DC and honors them for their service in that battle. It is called Heartland Honor Flight.

With the help of donations to the program, airfare and hotel accommodations are paid for. Veterans are honored on many points throughout the trip including a reception at the airport in Washington, at the memorial and on their return flight home. A brass band and cheering onlookers show their appreciation for the soldiers who fought for our freedom so long ago.

Bob South, long time member of The Athletic Club was one such veteran who traveled to Washington D.C and the WWII Veteran memorial in April 2013. Bob is part of the morning racquetball group that play 3x a week. He is in amazing shape and keeps his body and mind sharp. Bob shared his story with onlookers who were happy to absorb moments of history from this amazing man.

Teary recollections of the trip were bitter sweet. He shared photos from the trip explaining each one in detail. Some stories were sad- of fallen comrades, others of heroic acts of courage and bravery. Everyone present was moved hearing his recollections of that time.

The most moving part of the trip for him was MAIL CALL. He recalled during the war how extremely meaningful mail call times were. His memory was strong of the men pushed together hoping to hear their name called. The “distribution” of the mail was the letter being thrown to them. Mail call during the honor flight was much the same. Bob received mail! Handwritten and colored letters of appreciation from his granddaughter’s elementary school class, and his family were bundled and given to him. He was moved by the words of the children. We were moved by his inspiring life of Honor, Duty, Courage, and Patriotism that extend to this day.

This  Memorial Day consider checking out Flight of Honor. Make a donation to this amazing program that makes sure our veterans are recognized and honored for their service. http://www.kansashonorflight.org/