The Gary Sinise Foundation's Soaring Valor program on May 9-11, 2018, brought 22 WWII veterans from the San Diego area to The National WWII Museum. The servicemembers, who included two female Marines, one Army WAC, and one Navy WAVE, were accompanied by students from Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, California.
Activities included a Victory Belles welcome at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (after air delivery by partner American Airlines), a staff welcome at the Sheraton New Orleans (also a Soaring Valor partner), an evening banquet under the warbirds in US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, a next-morning staff welcome at the Museum, a screening of "Beyond All Boundaries," exhibit touring, and a matinee performance by the Victory Belles.
There were many highlights of this visit, some captured in the below gallery of photos. One from off-camera: Tom Rice, who at age 22 jumped into Normandy on D-Day with the 101st Airborne Division, discovered his name on a D-Day jump manifest in one of our exhibits. "It was a rare moment, experienced by very few Museum visitors," said Tom Gibbs, Special Programs Manager. (That's Mr. Rice with Victory Belle Jessica in the second panel of photos.)
Thanks to all who make these visits possible, and special thanks to the veterans for their service.