Patriotic parade held for two terminally ill veterans unable to attend honor flight

Patriotic parade held for two terminally ill veterans unable to attend honor flight
Posted at 11:52 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 02:52:39-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Honor Flight of Kern County is making sure every veteran in the community is forever honored and respected, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, they gathered veterans and volunteers to help give a final goodbye to two of our beloved soldiers, Jon Bush and Daniel Escalante.

"Just from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much this means the world to me," said Bush.Bush, who was deployed in Operation Desert Storm was one of the two veterans honored on Thursday.

Honor Flight Kern County and other veterans in the community joined together and organized what they called a patriotic parade and final salute.

Bush greeted with a sea of red, white blue outside his Northwest Bakersfield home.

More than two dozen people gathered for Bush and World War II veteran Daniel Escalante.

Their families say both are terminally ill, because of their health conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic, they weren't able to attend the traditional Honor Flight experience.So instead, the team brought the experience to them.

"Everyone out here just means so much and them doing this for me today it just meant the world," Bush said.After leaving Bush's home the parade made its way to the Carrington of Shafter retirement home, where Escalante lives.

Unfortunately, he was unable to participate because of his illness, but his family was there on his behalf.

"It means the world to us, I wish my grandpa could have seen it, but I am so grateful for the Kern County Honor Flight for doing this for us," said Julie Anne Escalante, granddaughter to Escalante.

Escalante's son, Richard Escalante, says he believes his dad held on just for this day.

"I wish he could be here to see this because he would be amazed to see what happened here today," said Richard Escalante.

Before it was all over, the two veterans receiving memorable items to commemorate the day; which included an honor flight medal, a certificate, and a flag from congressman Kevin McCarthy that flew over the capital building.

If you know any terminally ill veterans in the community and would like to see them honored-- email Honor Flight Kern County here.