Virtual Honor Flight – Cool Way to Thank Vets

Humbrecht stand by plane

2nd Lt. Jack Humbrecht 1944

The myriad of ways people find to show support to our military are impressive.

Recently I had the honor and privilege to meet a World War II veteran who participated in a ‘virtual’ Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana.

During the war, Jack Humbrecht was flying a B-17 over occupied Poland border when his plane was shot down. Three crew members died and the rest were taken prisoner.

Humbrecht spent 9 months in German concentration camps before he was freed during the liberation. Back in Fort Wayne Humbrecht married his wife Lauana and they raised two sons.

Today, due to health reasons, Jack Humbrecht is unable to participate in a trip to Washington DC with Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana to see the military memorials.

Someone who is infinitely smarter than me came up with the idea of creating a ‘virtual’ trip for veterans who could not see the memorials in person via specially equipped goggles.

Matt Dearduff and Terri Hathaway Schackow, volunteers with Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana, gave a “Flightless Honor Flight” Virtual Reality Tour to Mr. Humbrecht.

When they placed a pair of these special goggles on him, he could ‘see’ scenes of Washington DC as if he were standing in front of the military memorials.

Humbrecht K virt

I know this to be true because they also allowed me to take the 15-minute tour as well. Cool!

Humbrecht Dearduff

They also presented Mr. Humbrecht with an Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana T-shirt, hat, challenge coin, photo book and “mail call” packet of letters from grateful people. This photo is Matt showing the special Honor Flight book to Mr. Humbrecht.

Thanks to Mr. Humbrecht’s family for helping to set up the meeting.

The spring 2019 Honor Flights of Northeast Indiana are April 24 and May 22. I’ll be at Fort Wayne International Airport to welcome them home. How about joining me? It’s a party and so fulfilling.

What can you do today to show appreciation for the veterans who fought for our freedoms?


4 thoughts on “Virtual Honor Flight – Cool Way to Thank Vets

Add yours

  1. I blieve he was. It was a privilege to watch him experience it. We did an interview as well which I always consider an honor. Thanks for your consistently kind, supportive comments.

  2. My grandfather was on his plane when it was shot down and also became a POW. I’ve been Hunting for any photo of that plane but been unable to find any

    1. Steven: Thanks for your comment. Have you looked under Google images for the plane? If you know if he was attached to the 8th Air Force or other group, you could contact them for help. The 8th in particular has a great number of resources for research. There are many Facebook groups that like to help too. If you know when his plane went down and where and where he was held prisoner, that can help. Did your grandfather tell you more info? He must have been very brave. Good luck!

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