Pine Grove Health Center Hero Participates in Honor Flight

(Top right) Pine Grove resident Normand Giard, accompanied by Pine Grove’s activity director Kathleen Demers, was welcomed at the airport by a high-ranking officer.

(Bottom right) Normand reported that he received several kisses from grateful Washington, DC residents—a hero’s welcome indeed!

On April 2, 2016, Pine Grove Health Center had the distinct honor and privilege of sending one of their Veteran residents to Washington D.C. to partake in the Honor Flight Networks ceremony. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

Normand Giard is a true American hero.  He was part of the 3rd Army Artillery led by General George S. Patton.  He was stationed in Normandy during World War II and was part of the First Wave of soldiers to storm Omaha Beach.  When asked what his favorite part of the Honor Flight was, he replied, “It felt amazing to have all of the high ranking officers saluting me” and “I loved all of the Washington girls kissing me on the cheek and hugging me!” Lastly he said it was an honor to meet Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed.

Normand’s day began at 5 a.m., when he and twenty other veterans from around the state of Rhode Island flew to our nation’s capital.  For the next 20 hours, his day was filled with memories, stories and unforgettable sights from all of the monuments. He had never been to D.C. before and he couldn’t believe how beautiful the city was. Pine Grove Health Center’s Activity Director, Kathleen Demers, accompanied Normand on this amazing journey. Kathleen has known Normand for six years now, and stated that she couldn’t have been happier for her friend and that she was so thankful to be part of this unforgettable experience.

For additional information on the Honor Flight Network program, please visit

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