WRAL-TV’s Moss Shares from the Front Line
WRAL-TV Meteorologist Mike Moss volunteered as a Guardian for the April flight. Moss himself is a veteran. He served in the Air Force for twelve years and then joined the Air Force Reserves, which he’s been part of since 1992. He shared his post-flight thoughts with capcom:
I got involved with the flight because I have so much respect for the service and sacrifice that these veterans gave for the country in such a trying time. As someone who served in the military later I see them as one of the groups that paved the way and set the standards for those of us who followed.
Being a Guardian was an honor for me and allowed me to get to know several of these veterans in a way that I never would have otherwise. Making several calls to the veterans and some of their family members (including a call to Geneva, Switzerland in this case) is part of the preparation for the trip, and gave me a chance to find out more about Charles’ service as a first sergeant in the occupation of Germany and later as an Artillery officer in Korea, Bob’s lengthy time in the Atlantic on board the USS Bogue hunting submarines (they sank ten German and two Japanese through the course of the war) and Walter’s adventures traveling through the night from unit to unit in a blacked-out jeep delivering orders and messages as a signal company member of the First Cavalry division.
The flight itself and the trip to Washington were a bit like a military operation in some respects – a lot of roll calls and making sure I always knew where each vet was and helped with anything he needed, including getting safely up and down stairways and escalators. There were emotional moments, like listening to them talk about home as we passed by the columns dedicated to each state at the WWII memorial, and hearing their memories of how they heard about Pearl Harbor and the start of the war. I’ve always had an interest in military history and on this trip I was privileged to see and hear some of that history on a personal basis.
The end of the trip was one of the best parts – family, friends, neighbors and even strangers who just wanted to be supportive were waiting for us as we filed out of the terminal and into the Atrium behind a lead of bagpipes and drums, and there was just an explosion of cheering, flags, red white and blue balloons, smiles, handshakes and “thank you”s for the veterans. I’ll take away fond memories of this entire experience, but that reception especially was a moment I’ll never forget.