WASHINGTON- The Collier County Honor Flight completed its final mission for 2015 over the weekend. Seventy World War II veterans from Southwest Florida made the trip to Washington D.C. to see the monuments that will forever honor their legacy.
Most of the veterans on the trip were around the age of 90. The vets all enjoyed the opportunity to see the sights and bond with “the boys” again despite the rain’s attempt to put a damper on the event.
For former United States Navy Seaman First Class, David Keane, the rain drops paled in comparison to the tear drops filling his eyes.
Keane’s great-granddaughter, Lexi Alvarez, a senior at the United States Naval Academy made a surprise trip to welcome her “pop” to his World War II memorial.
“I found out a couple weeks ago that my great-grandfather was gonna be here through an honor flight, I kind of worked my magic,” said Alvarez, “to get past security at the airport to see him.”
“Coming here, I couldn’t believe my daughter was here to greet me,” said Keane.
As Alvarez pushed her great-grandfather around the memorial, Keane remembered his time in the war.
“The worst thing would have been the attack on Pearl Harbor,” said Keane.
He spent the day with four generations by his side, a surprise that made it a day to make new memories and to share memories from the past.
“I never really talk much about it. The kids didn’t really know that much about it. For years I didn’t care to talk about it, but I guess late now, with the old age, it’s something to talk about.”
As Keane shared his story with WINK News, one thing he made sure to show was gratitude.
“I thank everyone for the help and their appreciation of us, and being in the service. It was a long time ago.”
The next Collier County Honor flight will be in February or March of next year.