Published on April 25, 2013

Serving With Honor

Genesis hospice nurse Mary Kozlov, RN, called him “my vet.’’  She respected Bill for his service in World War II and for his courage as a cancer patient.

Nearing the end of his life, Kozlov suggested that he should try to get on an Honor Flight.  The Honor Flight program gives veterans the chance to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C. on a one-day trip.

Bill didn’t believe he would be able to handle such a trip because of his failing health.  Kozlov assured him he could if she went along and helped.

Kozlov made sure her veteran got the opportunity by volunteering to go on the trip with him.  She served as medic for Bill and other vets with health issues who still  wanted to attend.

It was Bill’s first and final flight.  A cherished photo shows him at the Iwo Jima Memorial, saluting with the other Honor Flight veterans.

On that one special day, Bill earned his wings for his first flight, recalled many great memories, made new friends and, had the time of his life.

He also gained the admiration of his hospice nurse.

“I felt honored just to be able to make the trip with him,’’ Kozlov said.

Bill passed away less than two months after his Honor Flight.