SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — For its annual Flags of Our Heroes ceremony, Honor Flight Syracuse invited the family members of 52 veterans to receive a certificate of honor for their loved ones.
“He’s still alive in our hearts. So anything we can do to, it’s like spending a day with him again,” said Michael Mason, Jr. honoring his father.
In the crowd of people, the Mason family remembered Michael Mason Sr., who served as a captain in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
Though Michael dedicated 20 years of his life to service, the rest was always spent helping his own family.
“There was so much he did for everyone, he was one of those guys that just lived his life to make others happy,” Mason said.
Michael’s photo along with other veterans were tucked away safely in a flight to Washington, D.C. at the end of April known as Mission 13. His picture was placed next to the Vietnam War Memorial along with his title and an american flag. Honoring him, while letting others know how important his service and the service of others really is.
“To help the larger population understand and appreciate the sacrifice the veterans have made,” John Paddock, President and Co-Founder of Honor Flight Syracuse.
A type of recognition the Mason family said Michael desperately deserved. When he came home, he never talked about the war.
“Couldn’t get him to say a peep about it,” Mason said.
But they saw how it often woke him up in the middle of the night, traumatized by the memories of what he’d seen. And though he’d never admit it himself, the Masons know above all the awards he’s gotten for his service, this one takes it home.
“I think it’s just incredible, honored to even be here,” Mason said.
The men and women honored today served in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. The next honor flight will be on September 28th.
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