Identifi enjoys the company and considerable banter from our four Veterans. Billy Hartman, Marines E5, Chris Baston, Air Force E-5, Frank Marcario, Army E6 and Tom Pioli, Navy Chief Petty Officer . They are always trying to best one another, Army Navy, Air Force or Marines!
In Billy's own words. While I was in DC for a running event, my wife and I decided to take a walk through Arlington National Cemetery. I watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, looked at the names and dates on various headstones, visited a special hero from our area, and watched people throw their coins on the JFK burial site while staring at the Eternal Flame. At each of the locations I visited, I noticed handfuls of older veterans.
It wasn't until the Marine Corps War Memorial that I realized that something special was happening, but I wasn't sure what it was. The veterans were all being wheeled up to the memorial and I was approached by one of the people lining these men and women up. She asked if I would mind taking some pictures of her and her friends.
I always want to help out where I can, especially for a group of veterans. I must have taken a few dozen pictures. I was having fun and they seemed to be OK with me taking lots of pictures too. While I was taking their pictures, everyone that was not part of the group was pushed back behind a barrier and my wife snapped the picture of me taking pictures of the group. When I realized another 2 of 3 rows had been formed behind me (in front of the steps), I gave their phones back to them and they asked to take my picture and thanked me for helping them out. I told them it was my pleasure to help out some fellow veterans.
At that point, I showed them my USMC t-shirt and they all lit up smiling, shaking my hand, and became much more talkative. I snuck off to the side and found my wife. I walked back to our hotel and talked about how cool it was to be able to help out the group of veterans. I posted a few pictures of our day. About an hour past when a family member told us what was happening in the picture. These weren't just any random group of veterans. These were Honor Flight Veterans from South Florida. I had never really heard of Honor Flights before that weekend. It is truly an honor to think that I was a very small part of their trip.
Veterans Day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. On this day our Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States. Thanks guys! No doubt there will be plenty of banter over why Billy is getting all the attention. Billy ran the 2018 43rd MCM Marine Corp. Marathon in Arlington, VA. Not bad for a Marine. Identifi is proud of Billy, Chris, Frank and Tom. Thank you for your service!