While it wasn’t the central part of the storyline, viewers of the primetime drama, NCIS, got a glimpse last night (Tuesday, March 28) of what Fargo’s Jane Matejcek lives and breathes every day. Matejcek, executive director of WDAY Honor Flight, has spent the past 10 years and countless thousands of volunteer hours applauding the service of our senior-most war veterans with all-expense-paid trips to Washington, D.C., to visit the national war memorials built in their honor. It was a trip similar to one Matejcek has taken 7 times that set the backdrop for last night’s NCIS episode.
“I’m happy to report we’ve never had the type of whodunit drama surrounding any of our trips that kept television audiences on the edge of their seats last night,” said Matejcek “But beyond the fictional storyline, it was so gratifying to see such a compellingly realistic portrayal of the emotional catharsis and rejuvenation so many of our senior war heroes experience in visiting their national war memorials with Honor Flights.”
Not coincidently, the NCIS writer who created last night’s episode, Gina Lucita Monreal, has been quoted as saying she was prompted to do so based on her own grandfather-in-law’s Honor Flight experience, and the renewed sense of pride and purpose with which he returned home after his day of honor in Washington, D.C.
According to Matejcek, the next WDAY Honor Flight is scheduled for May 14-15, 2017. Each honor flight begins with an early morning departure from Fargo’s Hector International Airport in preparation for two days of recognition and reminiscing in our nation’s capital. Veterans have the opportunity to reflect with their comrades in arms at the National World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials, as well as visit the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and a banquet held in their honor. The two days adventure concludes back at Hector with a Welcome Home Celebration bigger than anything most of these heroes experienced decades earlier upon returning from the war.
Since its inception in 2007, WDAY Honor Flight has flown approximately 900 World War II, Korean and other veterans for their all-expense-paid, once-in-a-lifetime day of recognition, thanks and inspiration in Washington, D.C. Leading into its 2017 flight season, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit has a waiting list of senior veterans awaiting their long-overdue day of honor.
Anyone wanting to learn more about getting involved in WDAY Honor Flight can visit the website at wdayhonorflight.areavoices.com or visit our Facebook page.