George, the 50-Mile Cookie Man
All of us here at Honor Flight Arizona are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of one of our best friends–George Vermillion.
George somehow seemed to “adopt” Honor Flight Arizona several years ago after meeting our hub founder, Susan Howe, at the Honor Flight National Convention.
Since that time, this amazing man has provided gourmet cookies for dessert at every one of our Honor Flight Arizona dinners held at Ft. Myer. For each delivery of cookies George drove 50 mines round-trip from his home to our hotel at Baltimore Airport. He earned the affectionate nickname: “George the 50-Mile Cookie Man.”
In honor of George and his continued generosity, Honor Flight Arizona honored him on May 21st of this year. George was invited to dine with our group and after dinner was presented with an Honor Flight Arizona apron and T-shirt. On the sleeve of that T-shirt, and on the sleeve of every Honor Flight Arizona T-shirt worn by our WWII Veterans and guardians was our affectionate name for him “George The 50-Mile Cookie Man.”
Here is a photo that shows George’s name printed on the sleeve of a WWII Veteran’s t-shirt.
Our most recent visit to the World War II Memorial was on September 24th, the same day that George passed away. We arrived at the Memorial and looked everywhere for George. He was nowhere to be found. It just seemed so strange that George and his big smile and sincere handshake were not there to greet each and every one of our World War II Veterans! That same evening we again wrapped up our day of sightseeing with dinner at Ft. Myer. And once again we waited for George. So strange. He did not appear.
Though George was not present with his huge smile and big boxes of gourmet cookies, I decided to tell our World War II Veterans and their guardians all about “George the 50-Mile Cookie Man.” So happy that I did so, as we then gave George a loud round of applause.
On behalf Honor Flight Arizona and our World War II Veterans, I would like to send sincere condolences to George’s family and to all who knew this amazing man!
Farewell, George. We will remember you.