Service & Advocacy

Flight of Honor

Photo: Mike Garren

John T. Garren, Jr. was an Army surgeon who did not live to see the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. He died from pancreatic cancer when his son, Mike Garren MD’89, was just nine years old. But last October 19, forty years to the day after he died, Garren carried his father’s photo with him as he visited the memorial as a volunteer for Badger Honor Flight. The organization makes it possible for veterans — many of whom use wheelchairs or oxygen tanks — to travel to their memorials in Washington, accompanied by medical staff such as Garren, a surgeon at UW Hospital and Clinics. When they arrived back in Madison, the veterans were each escorted down the escalator at Dane County Regional Airport by an active-duty military person. At the bottom stood a throng of cheering people, a band, and Bucky Badger — all waiting to welcome the heroes home.

Published in the Spring 2014 issue


  • John J. Frost Jr. March 4, 2014

    Dr. John T. Garren, Jr., was a class act who left us way too soon!
    Dr. Mike Garren is also a class act! Thanks for bringing your dad to the WWII Memorial, and for the story!

    John Frost

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