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Honor Flight Central Coast California: Veterans surprised with several honors

Posted at 9:21 AM, Nov 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 12:21:54-05

At the end of October, KSBY Anchor, Neil Hebert, joined Honor Flight Central Coast California on their trip to Washington D.C. Honor Flight takes veterans on an all-expenses paid trip to visit military memorials in their honor, each accompanied by a guardian that pays their own way.

During the Honor Flight, the veterans were surprised several times with different honors, including a Santa Maria vet getting a well-deserved nod into history.

Carol Morrison served in the Army from 1950-1952. Seventy years after serving our country, Honor Flight surprised her with a ceremony putting her military service profile officially in the Women’s Military Memorial database, joining more than 350,000 women.

“I don’t believe it. Thank you so much!” said Morrison. “I’m shocked! I didn’t know anything about it.”

Carol knew from a young age she wanted to be in the military, but it wasn’t easy getting her mother to oblige.

“I wanted to go in right after high school, but my mother, she would not sign,” said Morrison. “I said, ‘I’m going in if I have to wait until 21. I want to do it.’ She goes, ‘If this is what you really want, I will sign.’ So, she did.”

Officially etched into HERstory, Corporal Carol Morrison.

An unplanned but welcomed surprise in Annapolis; as we stepped into Dahlgren Hall, a former armory and current assembly hall at the Naval Academy, Navy veteran, Bruce Reeve, looked at the wall near the entrance and stumbled upon the exact ship he sailed on during his time in the Navy.

“The USS Essex, first of her class. She was commissioned on December 31st, 1942, participated in many of the major naval battles,” said Reeve. “She was known as the oldest and the boldest, and also the finest ship in the navy because of her record in battles.”

Bruce joined the Navy out of high school at 17 years old and served 3.5 years in the service.

The Honor Flight was a family affair for one veteran. When your granddaughter, a captain and military intelligence officer in the Air Force, gets to pin you during the Honor Flight’s pinning ceremony honoring your service, emotions take the place of words; that’s what happened to Tom Williams, a retired member of the Air Force.

“It’s not something you would do even one time in a lifetime,” said Williams. “When you get caught off-guard, the only thing that can come out is your feelings.”

Courtney Waters, Tom’s granddaughter, pinned every veteran on the Honor Flight.

“It was awesome. If you ask anyone, they’ll tell you that I’m his favorite,” said Waters with a smile. “We are pretty close, so for me to be the one to pin him was amazing.”

Honor Flight Central Coast California typically takes two Honor Flights per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. If you or a veteran you know would like to apply, click here.