By Shereen Siewert

Nora Ammel may only be five years old, but she is already one of the strongest cheerleaders for U.S. veterans arriving home after a Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

That’s because Nora’s mother, Morgan Ammel, has been taking Nora to each and every welcome home ceremony for the honor flight since Nora was a baby. Now, she’s encouraging more young people to follow Nora’s lead, by celebrating the sacrifices our veterans made during their time of service.

“I am trying to get as many young people and parents together as possible to show our appreciation as the veterans get off the plane Monday from D.C.,” Morgan Ammel said, adding that she believes strongly in teaching children at an early age to respect and appreciate members of the military.

Morgan Ammel said her tradition started after a family friend, Greg Buzzell, went on a flight.

“Greg took my daughter and I under his wing and care after he found my father passed away,” Morgan Ammel said. “It was unexpected and sudden, but I gained a second father with him. My dad had raised me to always give back the the community and doing things like this help me keep his memory alive and instill some of life‘s most important lessons.

“I take my daughter to each and every welcome home ceremony for the honor flight, she is now five years old. I am trying to get as many young people and parents together as possible to show our appreciation as they get off the plane this Monday night after their trip to DC. I was wondering if by any means you could make a post to get the word out there and maybe have some people join us.”

Nora Ammel stands with a sign welcoming veterans home from a Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Photo courtesy of Morgan Ammel

Each Never Forgotten Honor Flight ends with a warm welcome home when the veterans who return from the day-long trip arrive back at Central Wisconsin Airport. For some veterans, the reception is one they never experienced when they arrived after often-harrowing tours of duty. Some members of the public attend simply to say thank you; others attend because they know or served with a veteran making the trip.

A full list of next week’s attendees can be found here.

The Never Forgotten Honor Flight will fly one World War II, 19 Korea and 82 Vietnam War era veterans from central and northern Wisconsin to Washington, D.C., on April 8 to see the memorials that honor their service.

It’s the organization’s 35th flight since the first Never Forgotten Honor Flight took place April 27, 2010.

Sixty-four guardians will accompany the vets on the one-day round trip that departs Central Wisconsin Airport at 6:30 a.m. and is scheduled to return at about 10 p.m.

Nora Ammel, 5, welcomes home veterans from a Never Forgotten Honor Flight at Central Wisconsin Airport. Photo courtesy of Morgan Ammel

The public is invited to the Central Wisconsin Airport to welcome the veterans home the same night, and Honor Flight officials recommend arriving no later than 8:30 p.m. Free parking for those welcoming the veterans home will be provided.

Never Forgotten Honor Flight veteran alumni are encouraged to wear their NFHF-issued clothing (hat, shirt or windbreaker) for the welcome home ceremony.

“I can think of no group of people that deserves our thanks more than veterans,” Morgan Ammel said.

Photos courtesy of Morgan Ammel