Event planned to thank veterans

An upcoming event is more than just a movie showing. A local funeral home sponsoring the event wants to make it an experience for those who served our country.

Along with showing the documentary “Honor Flight,” Voss and Sons Funeral Service is bringing in the Indiana Honor Guard and a few veterans motorcycle groups.

The Seymour Fire Department will have its big American flag on display, and Jamie Marshall of Marshall Memories Photography will take pictures of veterans and their families for free. A performance of the Indiana Military Band also is in the works.

It’s set for April 18 at Seymour High School’s Earl D. Prout Auditorium, with doors opening at 5:15 p.m. and the movie starting at 6 p.m. No reservations are required, and there is no admission fee.

“It is going to be a big thank-you, and we’re hoping they understand the sacrifice they gave for our community. We appreciate them,” said Lydia Maupin, whose family operates the funeral home.

“The other thing is just to be able to see the documentary side of it and to bring back those memories of the camaraderie of their brothers and sisters that were in the war with them is going to be just a really neat experience,” she said.

The 83-minute documentary is about four World War II veterans and a Midwest community coming together to give them the trip of a lifetime. Volunteers race against the clock to fly thousands of World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorial constructed for them in 2005, nearly 60 years after the war.

Voss and Sons had to purchase the rights to show the film. Maupin said she has yet to see the movie, but her father, Mark Adams, has seen it.

“I do know that everyone that’s watched it says there will not be a dry eye in the auditorium. They said it’s really moving,” Maupin said.

She added she has seen videos on YouTube about veterans coming home from World War II, and many of them were not well-received by the public.

But when they participate in an Honor Flight, it’s an opportunity for them to be thanked for their service.

“All the veterans say, ‘I never got a thank-you. I came home, and I had to start my life, and we didn’t talk about the war, and we didn’t talk about what happened. Nobody ever said, ‘Thank you for your sacrifice,’” Maupin said.

“As kids my age are going to Afghanistan or they are serving overseas, it’s like I want them to know that I’m appreciative of their service,” she said. “To be able to tell those past generations that we appreciate it is a big deal.”

Within the past year, the film has been shown at Evansville, Greensburg and Indianapolis. Maupin said more than 10,000 people attended the show in Indianapolis.

“It should be a good thing not only for veterans but even for people that are just interested in this area or want to say thanks,” Maupin said.

Voss and Sons sponsors local sports teams and bowling leagues, and Maupin said this is another way to support the community.

“It’s not only giving money. Sometimes, it’s being able to put on an event like this, and this was just perfect,” she said. “We’ve been around for so long, and the community has been such a great support system of us. When it comes to supporting veterans, this seemed to be the perfect opportunity.”

Also on the day of the film, Indy Honor Flight representatives will be available to answer questions and help people fill out an application to take an Honor Flight. Those trips are made possible through donations, so they are free to veterans.

Since the average age of World War II veterans is 89, Maupin said guardians are provided and accompany them on the trip.

On April 4, Indy Honor Flight took nearly 200 veterans on an Honor Flight trip. That was the first time they used two airplanes to take that number of veterans at once.

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What: “Honor Flight” documentary showing

When: April 18; doors open at 5:15 p.m., movie starts at 6 p.m.

Where: Seymour High School’s Earl D. Prout Auditorium, along Community Drive in Seymour

Who: Open to the public with a special invitation to veterans and their families

Cost: Free

Other features: Indiana Honor Guard; veterans motorcycle groups; large American flag on display; free photos of veterans and their families

Event information: Call Lydia Maupin at 812-522-5558 or email [email protected]; facebook.com/events/343653032505729

Movie information: honorflightthemovie.com

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Indy Honor Flight recognizes veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by sending them to Washington, D.C., to see their war’s memorial.

Top priority is given to World War II and terminally ill veterans from all wars.

Guardians are supplied to go along with veterans to provide assistance and help them have a safe, memorable and rewarding experience.

The cost to send a veteran on an Honor Flight is $450, but donations are obtained so there is no cost to the veteran.

For information about going on an Honor Flight trip or making a donation, call 317-559-1600 or email [email protected].