My name is Michele Spry and I am a self-published children’s author.
Partner in Education
My husband, Brandon, and I own Midway Electric, Inc. and volunteer with many great organizations in our community. Being an active Partner in Education with Midway Heights Elementary School, which is the elementary school I attended, is a volunteer opportunity I particularly enjoy. I wanted to give back to the school that taught me so much during important years of my life. When I began my first book, I wanted something to teach youth about kindness and paying it forward. When we became a PIE in 2008, we really wanted to focus on literacy. That kind of pushed me to write and focus on keeping the age range of my books appropriate for elementary students.
When I wrote my second book, I wanted to teach our youth about honor and respect.
Central Missouri Honor Flight
I have had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful organization here in Columbia, MO known as Central Missouri Honor Flight. This organization takes our veterans who have served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to Washington, DC free of charge. Central Missouri Honor Flight is one of 130+ hubs in the Honor Flight Network throughout the United States. Priority is given to World War II veterans and then Korean War veterans followed by Vietnam veterans. Central Missouri Honor Flight started in 2009 and in 2017 has taken nearly 50 flights! They transported nearly 3,000 veterans all because of a generous community that has raised nearly $4 million dollars and counting!
Being involved with Central Missouri Honor Flight is something I will never forget. Showing respect and honor to true American Heroes for their service and sacrifice is nothing short of incredible. Seeing the faces of the veterans as they travel on this 24-hour trip and seeing how civilians extend their hands and their hearts to these men and women is something that is emotional yet heartwarming. Many of these men and women never got a true welcome home. When they are on an Honor Flight they certainly get a welcome home they will never forget! For more information please visit www.centralmissourihonorflight.com or to find an Honor Flight hub near you please visit www.honorflight.org/regional-honor-flight-hubs/
In 2012 I began working with an incredible woman and mentor, Sarah Hill. She introduced me to some true American Heroes and from that point my life would never be the same. Giving back to our veterans was something I was very passionate about. Virtual Hero Tours, as we called them, would allow us to travel to a veteran with a laptop computer and with the help of Google+ Hangouts we were able to have volunteers stationed throughout the world to take these veterans on a personalized tour of their memorials and/or where they might have served. While this was great for a veteran who was unable to physically travel it was also challenging on our part because of weak wifi and cell phone signals.
Luckily, technology has advanced and now there is Honor Everywhere. Honor Everywhere is a virtual reality experience for veterans too frail or sick to travel on a physical Honor Flight. Through virtual reality, we are able to slip a device similar to ski googles on the veterans head and take a veteran from their living room, nursing home or even hospital room to Washington, DC. It truly is the next best thing when physically traveling isn’t an option. However, it NEVER replaces physically going on an Honor Flight. For more information you can visit www.honoreverywhere.com
I didn’t come from a military family but I deeply respect for our military men and women who continue to protect our country and our freedoms. I enjoy spending time with veterans to show appreciation for all they have done and continue to do.