January 8, 2013
Paula Cubbage RN CEN recently participated as an Honor Flight nurse "guardian." Honor Flight is a program that transports World War II and Korean War veterans to the Washington Memorials at no cost. Cubbage is the lead charge nurse at TriHealth's Bethesda Arrow Springs emergency department in Lebanon, Ohio.
“You could see the pride and memories in the faces of the veterans on our trip,” said Cubbage. “The love and caring and respect of the honor guards at the airports and the crowds welcoming these brave men and women was something I will never forget.”
For Cubbage, the lead charge nurse at the Bethesda Arrow Springs Medical Center emergency department in Lebanon, Ohio, the experience was especially meaningful. Her late father was disabled after serving in the medical corps in World War II, and her mother cared for veterans in VA hospitals for three decades. The Greater Cincinnati Emergency Nurses Association provided the $400 fee charged to guardians to be on the flight.
Joining the cheering crowd when she returned to Cincinnati around midnight were two of her ED co-workers, one of them a Vietnam veteran.
"Since many of these vets are advanced in age (80s and 90s), they also have significant health problems – many in wheelchairs, on oxygen, etc.,” said Terry Foster, a critical care clinical specialist at the St. Elizabeth Edgewood emergency department in Edgewood, KY another guardian on the flight. “They like having RNs on the flights, and each vet is assigned to one of us as a guardian/caregiver. It’s their last (only) chance to see these sites and be with other vets. It is an incredibly well-organized as well as emotional – but fun – trip!”
“This is one of the most special things I have ever been privileged to be involved in, and as soon as I am able, I hope to be going again,” said Cubbage.
Visit www.honorflight.org/apply/guardian.cfm for state-specific information on becoming an Honor Flight nurse guardian.