On Tuesday, Sept. 28th, a hometown hero experienced the trip of a lifetime. Bob Meier, who has lived in Nashville for 77 years, took part in the Veterans Honor Flight. Honor Flight is a form of dedication for those who have served in the military with a free trip to Washington D.C for a day. Meyer served in the Vietnam crisis from 1965-1967. He was accompanied on the trip by his oldest son, Darin Meier, an eight year Marine veteran. There were 98 veterans on the flight, the oldest being 92, and the youngest being Meyer at 77. Amongst those who attended were eight WWII veterans. The flight departed from Marion at 4:00 a.m. before returning home at 8:00 p.m.
Throughout the longevity of the day, the veterans and their guardians experienced the World War II Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the FDR Memorial, MLK’s Memorial, the Iwo Jima/Marine Corps Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, as well as the Air Force Memorial.
“It was simply breathtaking,” said Meier.
During their visit, the attendees were also able to witness the Changing of the Guard Ceremony which takes place at Arlington National Cemetery.
“That never gets old, those guys are so professional, such perfectionists,” said Meier. “It was the most memorable moment I’ve had. He (Darin Meier) took excellent care of me.”
On the flight home, the crew did a “mail call,” as they did when they were in the service. Meier received 468 pieces of mail from numerous people throughout the years.
“It took me almost two days to read them all,” he said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there were 12 veterans who were not able to attend the flight due to their passing. To honor the fallen heroes, the group brought 12 American flags with them on their trip, and upon returning home the flags were presented to the families.
“It was very touching,” said Meier.
Following his service, Meier has since worked at Holzhauers, drove a school bus for 13 years, car detailing, and owned Burreta’s from 1970-1990. He has also served as a chaplain for the American Legion for over 50 years, as well as assistant chaplain for the state of Illinois for five years. In that time, he has been a part of over 500 funerals including three gold star funerals.
“The good lord has been good to me,” said Meier.