Our veterans were willing to sacrifice everything for our freedom and they deserve to be shown unwavering respect and gratitude. Sadly, they don’t always receive what they are due, but recently, two complete strangers showed the world what true honor and respect look like.
96-year-old George Boone was a B-24 pilot during World War II. In 1943, while flying over Romania, Boone was shot out of the sky and held as a prisoner of war by the Nazis.
Thankfully, he made it out of the war alive and eventually returned home, married, and had a family.
When Boone’s wife, Alma, passed away in 2008, she was buried at Arlington National Cemetary, where Boone himself will one day be buried.
Recently, Boone was visiting Arlington as part of an Honor Flight. The tour was only supposed to go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but while they were there, Boone asked to see his wife’s grave.
It was then that his son realized he had forgotten one very important thing in the rush to the site – his father’s wheelchair. Boone knew he lacked the strength to make it to the gravesite on his own.
“I just sort of gave up on the whole thing and thought I would have to visit her from that distance,” he recalled.
Just then, though, two men – a cemetery worker and another stranger – walked over. They had overheard what was going on and wanted to help.
The men made a chair with their arms and lifted Boone all the way to his wife’s grave. They then held him there for 10 minutes while he paid his respects.
Afterward, one of the men said he had been so moved by the exchange that he wanted to carry Boone back to his car on his own. At first, the elderly veteran refused, but the man insisted.
“He said, ‘This is my honor and privilege. I’m going to carry you. Wrap your arms around my neck, I’ve got you.’ And off they went,” Boone’s son, Jon, recalled.
The younger Boone said the men’s actions that day left him speechless and filled him with pride.
“Without a doubt, it gives you so much pride to be an American,” he said. “It’s not all what we see on the news. There are incredible people out there waiting to do good things and show acts of kindness.”
One thing is for sure: this incredible act of kindness and respect is one Boone – and the rest of us – will never forget.
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