By Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. ( May 3, 2023) — When the phone call came in, asking if she wanted to fly to Florida to be a guardian for her father on an honor flight, Lisa Shattuck, a Fort Leonard Wood Security Specialist with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, already knew what they were talking about before they finished asking.

“I said, ‘I know what this is. I’ve been wanting to do it forever,’” Shattuck said.

What she was signing up to do was act as a volunteer escort for her elderly father — a Korean War veteran — on a one-day sightseeing trip to Washington, D.C., arranged through a non-profit organization that gives veterans a free chance to visit many of the war memorials dedicated to honoring their service and sacrifice.

“They go around, and they see the different monuments,” Shattuck said. “They watch the changing of the guard and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; we saw the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Arlington Cemetery — and we’re there to help take them from place to place.”

Charles Bishop, Shattuck’s father, served as a Marine in the Korean War. Shattuck also served — she spent time as a Soldier in the Army before becoming an Army civilian — and she said she was hoping the trip might help him open up a bit about his service.

“My father never talked about it, never talked about what he did,” Shattuck said. “I knew he was in the Marines, but he never talked about it. This time, he actually opened up — not maybe as much as I would’ve liked, because my curiosity is endless, but he did talk about some things that I never knew about.”

At the Marine Corps War Memorial, commonly referred to as the Iwo Jima Memorial, Shattuck said she learned that famous statue of six Marines raising the U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi in 1945, has special meaning to her father, despite his service occurring almost a decade later.

“When we went to the Iwo Jima Memorial, and we were talking about that, he told me he contributed from each paycheck to the building of that memorial,” Shattuck said. “I never knew that.”

Another “eye-opening moment” took place at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Shattuck said.

“I had put him to the side, and I was taking a picture longways, where you could see the different Soldiers lined up,” Shattuck said. “Behind me, I could hear someone talking, and it was a junior high or high school teacher. He was leading a class trip, and I could hear him coming up because he was talking kind of loud. He was telling the class, ‘This is the Korean Memorial,’ and he was describing it, and then all of a sudden, he goes, ‘And look, here’s a Korean War veteran,’ because my dad had a Korean War veteran hat on. And they stopped to talk to him, and the class all shook his hand, said ‘Thank you for your service’ — he got really choked up with that one. It was just so amazing to see these young kids coming up and learning about it and thanking him. That was really awesome.”

The Korean memorial was a difficult moment for her father, Shattuck said, “because he had lost friends there.”

“He said, ‘I’m ready to go,’ and he didn’t, it was like he didn’t want to stay,” she said. “He wanted to move on to something else. That one, I think, hit him really hard.”

Shattuck said many veterans never received a “welcome home,” and opportunities like this are a “big way for everybody to say, ‘thank you,’ as well as providing a chance for veterans to share their stories and experiences. She tried to describe the moment the 80 or so veterans departed the plane upon returning to their home airport in Fort Myers, Florida — where her father moved about 10 years ago — but it was “simply indescribable.”

“There were thousands of people waiting,” Shattuck said. “There was a bag piper, a band, there were Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, biker clubs, auxiliaries — so many axillaries, I don’t even know who they all belonged to. Older vets came out and just regular people, all there with banners and flags.”

For those interested in volunteering for an honor flight, Shattuck said there are opportunities all over the country. In 2023, more than 22,000 veterans were honored, and nearly 18,000 volunteer guardians served.

“There are hubs in different states — there are three or four just in Missouri,” Shattuck said, noting guardian volunteers are required to pay $500 to cover a portion of the overall cost — the remainder is covered by larger charitable foundations, and there is never a cost to the veteran.

Additionally, the chartered flights each have a doctor on board, and each tour bus has a nurse and a medic. Shattuck said there is also a required guardian training class to attend.

“The priority is their safety,” she said. “We help them on and off the bus, the plane, make sure they take their medications. We’re there to help take them from place to place.”

It’s a long, tiring day, Shattuck said, but “it’s an awesome program.”

“I like to volunteer, but this is something that is really special, worthwhile,” she said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

More information on the honor flight program is available at

Charles Bishop sits alongside the Korean War Veterans Memorial April 27 in Washington, D.C. Bishop, a Marine, who fought in the Korean War, visited the nation’s capital with his daughter, Lisa Shattuck, a Fort Leonard Wood Security Specialist with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, as part of a one-day honor flight tour hosted by a non-profit organization for veterans. (Courtesy photo)


















About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post 80 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains nearly 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.