World War II veteran George Boone, 96, traveled from his home in North Carolina to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to visit his wife’s grave. But when it looked like he couldn’t get any closer to the grave than 70 yards, a couple of strangers carried him the rest of the way.
Boone was visiting Arlington Cemetery as part of an Honor Flight. His wife of 56 years, Alma, passed away in 2007. She was buried in Arlington, where Boone will join her when he passes.
During the trip, Boone made a special request to visit his wife’s grave. This likely would have been his last chance to do so. However, in the haste to veer off from the tour to visit Alma’s grave, his wheelchair was left behind and Boone wasn’t able to walk the 70 yards from the road to Alma’s grave.
“I just sort of gave up on the whole thing and thought I would have to visit her from that distance,” says Boone.
But a couple of cemetery workers, one who was a volunteer, wouldn’t hear of it. The two men lifted up Boone and carried him to Alma’s grave. They also kept him upright so he could have a moment with his late wife.
Afterward, the man who was a volunteer insisted on carrying Boone back to the car by himself. Boone was hesitant at first, but the man said he wanted to provide that service for the veteran.
“He said, ‘This is my honor and privilege. I’m going to carry you. Wrap your arms around my neck, I’ve got you,'” recalls Boone’s son, Jon.
The two men who helped Boone have chose to remain anonymous. To them, it was a small way to say thank you to Boone, who was a B-24 pilot during World War II and was briefly held in Romania as a prisoner of war.
In the end, it was Boone who was most appeciative to the two people who gave him the chance to pay his repsects to his late wife.
“I would like him to know how greatly I appreciate what he did,” said Boone. “His kindness was overwhelming.”