WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – This month, our Cape Fear Hero performed the same good deed twice, to the delight of over 200 World War II veterans.
The veterans were given a trip to Washington, called the Honor Flight, to see the Memorial that has been built to honor them.
Wilmington commercial real estate broker Jason McLeod was the person responsible for getting the ball rolling in the Wilmington area.
"The honor flight program is changing lives and it is not just the veterans whose lives have been changed, but the volunteers as well," said McLeod. "I know my life has been changed. It is very humbling to be able to spend time with these hero's and I think it gives us a great appreciation for what they did sixty five years ago. They saved the world."
On April 13th, McLeod and many others watched as 104 veterans were loaded on a U.S. Airways jet bound for the nation's capital.
The group was met by buses who took them to see the Memorial, many for the first time, and for some, for the last time. Later that night, they returned to a hero's welcome at Wilmington International Airport.
The initial trip was so popular that a second Honor Flight took more veterans to Washington in late May.
Susan Warwick took notice of McLeod work to get the Honor Flight program started in Wilmington, coordinating the charters for air travel and buses once in Washington. McLeod took no credit for all of his hard work and she thought he deserve some recognition. So she nominated him for our Cape Fear Hero award.
"You know Jason would probably like to stay behind the scenes," said Warwick. "I just felt like he needed a great big thank you from our community, and a way to go. And maybe people seeing this will be inspired to do what he has done and go out and do some good too."
And we agree. For his work on getting the honor flights off the ground this year, we honor Jason McLeod as our Cape Fear Hero for July.
And because of the success of the first two trips, there are two more Honor Flights to take place before the end of the year. One will originate from New Bern on Sept. 22 and the second one from Wilmington on Oct. 13.