Local veteran makes 15th honor flight as guardian

Mike Beck is a very active volunteer with the Central Missouri Honor Flight program.

Mike Beck is a very active volunteer with the Central Missouri Honor Flight program. Photo by Julie Smith.

Mike Beck is a man who in his own right deserves honor and recognition. Like most other veterans, however, he prefers to focus on honoring others.

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Beck, a Vietnam veteran and a volunteer with Central Missouri Honor Flight, has gone numerous flights, escorting those he calls “heroes” on their tour of the World War Memorial.

“I cannot imagine spending my time doing anything else,” he said. “I always wanted to do something worthwhile in my retirement and I cannot imagine anything more worth my time.”

A truck driver for an artillery company in Vietnam, Beck said he wanted to do something for his country when he volunteered for the Army in 1966. The third generation soldier served until 1969. When he arrived back in California, he said he removed his uniform before he boarded his flight home.

“We knew we were not coming home to a big welcome party,” Beck recalled. Making sure veterans get the recognition they deserve is part of his passion for Honor Flights.

“This is their parade; this is their welcome home rally,” he said.

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