Guardians make Honor Flights possible for many Kansas veterans

Veteran Salute

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Some veterans who go on Honor Flights to Washington have a guardian accompany them to assist them. The person can be any friend or family member, except a spouse.

These volunteers play a significant role on every Kansas Honor Flight, ensuring that every veteran has a safe and memorable experience.

“It’s really an honor because it’s special, and I am proud to do it,” said guardian Audrey Shipman.

Shipman was the guardian of her grandfather, Virgil Shipman, a Korean War veteran.

She said she watched his experience at the Korean War Memorial take his breath away.

Air Force retiree Dave Cottrell was paired with a fellow retiree.

“She gave up so much of her time and energies and monies to be with me, to share with me and share with me my experiences,” Cottrell said. “I can’t thank Diana enough for what she done for me.”

Diana Flick Flick-Arnold spent 20 years in the Air Force and still has a servant’s heart.

She said her brother, a Marine, was a guardian years ago and talked about what an experience it was.

Flick-Arnold then told her husband the opportunity to help a veteran would be the perfect gift.

“I just love our older vets,” she said. “Their service was so much different than when I was in, you know. I feel like they just did so much for our country and not being recognized for what they did.”

She said, above all, she hopes the veterans on her Honor Flight found healing along the way.

If you are interested in being a guardian, click here for more information.

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