Space Coast Honor Flight is an organization that treats hundreds of World War II, Korean, and Vietnam veterans to free, one day trips to Washington DC to visit the war memorials there.
Nowadays though, these veterans are getting up there in age – many are now in their 80s and 90s – making a plane trip to Washington DC difficult. Because of this, Space Coast Honor Flight has come up with a new-age solution – virtual reality.
Honor Flight has teamed up with Hospice of St. Francis in Wisconsin to bring virtual reality goggles to local veterans, allowing them to ‘make the trip’ without ever leaving their home.
“It’s just remarkable,” said 89-year-old John Schultz, a Korean War veteran with a lung disease, making him dependent on oxygen tanks.
“The technology today is overwhelming,” he said as he viewed Washington DC war memorials and ceremonies through the 3D, 360 degree view of the virtual reality goggles.
“I lost friends, I had people dying right alongside of me, you know,” Schultz said to News 8000.
“They came home. There wasn’t a lot of fanfare. They were never really honored for what they have done,” president of Space Coast Honor Flight and Retired U.S. Navy admiral Jim Hart said.
“It’s somewhat cathartic in that it helps them get through the suffering and the pain that they’re dealing with now,” Hart continued.
“It’s kind of a memory that’s locked away but I could see it, it came out today and that was really, that was really special,” Schultz’ daughter added.