Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 1 -- The Trip Begins

     Though we all woke early this morning, we are in good spirits and look forward to the week ahead. We left College of the Ozarks at 5:30 this morning and headed to the Springfield airport. From there, we took a plane to Dallas/Fort Worth and then to LAX where we each met the brave men we will spend the next nine days with.
     The international leg of our trip will be across the Pacific going to Fiji. Because we are following the revolution of the earth, and because we cross the International Date Line, Monday will cease to exist for us, and we will arrive in Fiji early Tuesday morning.
    Everyone is happy and excited for the days ahead. When we met our veterans in LAX, we had plenty of time to get to know them. It is truly touching to see the friendly way they joke with each other, as if they have known each other all along. Even years after they ended their military service, they maintain a strong camaraderie. Each man's story tells of the same events from a different, unique perspective, and during the time we spend together, we will learn that each story or joke they tell teaches us something that not only focuses on the greatest generation, but on humanity as a whole. These men each made the decision to gamble their lives for a cause they believed to be greater than themselves: the defense of others. Thousands of men made the same selfless decision to risk their lives, and their generation is the greatest generation because they gave the greatest sacrifice.

     Each day of our trip blog will focus on a different veteran who served in the Guadalcanal campaign. There are six men in all, and a different student will write a blog each day focusing on their veteran. There will be a diverse selection of stories from each veteran, and we will each take from this trip something that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. We look forward to the next nine days with anticipation, and every one of us hopes that we will return from this trip with a fuller understanding of something each one of these men know so well: sacrifice.


  1. Thank you for doing this for the students & the Veterans. My son is on this trip & I know he feels honored & humbled to be chosen to participate on this trip. I'm a military brat, with family that has fought in every war our country has fought since the Revolutionary war. It makes me proud to share this & your past Patriotic trips, to show there is a college that still cares about our military. Thank you again Kim Marshall

  2. Dear Patriotic Travel Group,
    Please know that you are being prayed for as you experience this wonderful opportunity to serve our precious veterans who changed the course of our future. I can't wait to hear all about your Veteran and your wonderful experiences in the Pacific.
    Your pictures already display the special friendships that are being made on this journey. May God continue to keep His hand on all of you. Take care and stay safe!
    Nurse Lori