It is the trip of a lifetime!
The Honor Flight Network makes the trek to our nation’s capital multiple times each year.
While the trip honors the heroes of our nation, those of the local branch say the woman behind the trip is the real hero.
This week, we introduce you to president and founder of the Honor Flight Northeast Tennessee branch, and why she is our community hero.
“That’s the first welcome home I had in over 50 years. It was just something that made your heart feel good,” 27-year veteran Richard Elder said.
Some of America’s bravest climb aboard the Honor Flight bus and head to our nation’s capital.
“I shed my blood, I shed my tears and everything else for my country. When I came home, my country wasn’t proud of me,” Elder said. “But thanks to the honor flight, I have been redeemed.”
All thanks to the president and founder of the Honor Flight Northeast Tennessee Branch, Edie Lowry.
“They do not pay a penny. It’s free. They’ve already paid the price and sacrifice,” Lowry said.
She described the trip as a way of giving the veterans closure.
“I get my veterans to unlock that toolbox in the back of their head and release everything that’s in that toolbox to where they can sleep and rest at night,” Lowry said.
She was inspired by another branch in Kansas City.
“I actually went on an honor flight in Kansas City and took two World War veterans, and the bug bit me and it stayed with me and I prayed to God for two years after I moved here, and I got a sign from him,” she said.
Lowry then decided to create a branch in 2012, in northeast Tennessee.
“I’ve taken men in wheelchairs that was living on oxygen. When I see them after the trip, no wheelchair, no oxygen, and it just changes their life. When I see that it changes my life as well,” Lowry said.
Even if a veteran believes he or she is physically unable to go, she will make it happen.
“There’s a TLC program where if we have a veteran that is in a hospital bed or is in a permanent oil chair for the rest of his life, we can get them up there to see the memorial,” Lowry said.
“She is nice in every way she can be. She really helps her veterans,” Honor Flight Northeast Tennessee driver Danny Puckett said.
That is why she is our community hero.
Elder said, “I was on that wall. Relatives of mine, some friends of mine I had lost in Vietnam. I will always cherish those people in my life, and I thank Edie for allowing me to see this otherwise I would have never seen this.”
If you would like to help Edie Lowry and the Northeast Tennessee branch in sending veterans to this year’s Honor Flight, you can do so by taking part of the upcoming events.
Tables of Honor
Buy a table for $400 that will sponsor a veteran. Decorate it in any way you want.
Motorcycle Benefit Ride at Central Church of Christ
There will be live music and motorcycle rides.
The proceeds to both these events go to helping send veterans to D.C. to be honored.
The next honor flight is October 18-20.
For more information, click here or call (423) 330-6189.