Honor Flight carries Redwood Retirement resident to Washington D.C.
Bob Nickel Sr. spent the period from 1944 to 1946 serving in the United States Navy. Part of his time in the service was spent aboard the USS Harry F. Bauer, a naval destroyer based out of Little Creek, Virginia. More than 70 years later, he headed back to the east coast as part of an Honor Flight Bay Area trip.
Now 90 years young, Bob, a resident of Holiday Retirement’s Redwood Retirement Residence, was joined on the trip by his son, Bob Nickel Jr., and other veterans. Honor Flight Bay Area arranged for the visiting veterans to see the World War II Memorial, as well as other landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Women in Military Service for America Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.
Bob is one of five brothers from the Nickel family to have served in World War II. The opportunity to take the Honor Flight and reflect back on his service, as well as the sacrifices made by his entire family during the war, was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Bob, who was awed and humbled to be included in the trip.
Though Bob has gone on to raise a family and wear a great many professional hats in his days since the service, he says that he still carries much of the experience of wearing the uniform with him. Bob credits his service with lifelong friendships and one incredible lesson: Trust others, if you need something, all you have to do is ask.
For his part, Bob Jr. was overwhelmed to see the kindness and appreciation of strangers. The Honor Flight arrived to find more than 200 supporters at the airport and would later see bystanders young and old approach to shake the hands of the veterans present and thank them for their service.
It’s certain that Bob Sr. appreciated their thanks as well, but there’s one person who made all the difference for him — his son. Having Bob Jr. by his side was what Bob Sr. called the greatest part of his experience.