On Saturday, Sept. 12, the Broward Sheriff’s Office was honored and pleased to participate in this year’s Honor Flight South Florida’s one-day veteran’s mission to Washington D.C.
Honor Flight South Florida is a 100 percent all-volunteer organization dedicated solely to honoring veterans in Broward, Dade and Monroe counties. Every year, this organization flies military veterans to Washington D.C. so they can visit memorials built in their honor. The flights alternate between Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The trips are at no cost to all World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans and include round-trip airfare, deluxe bus transportation escorted by law enforcement officers, meals, commemorative tee shirts, travel guardians and other amenities.
This year’s flight departed from MIA, and BSO’s Regional Traffic and Deerfield Beach District Traffic Units were given the privilege to escort those who bravely fought for our country.
Honor Flight South Florida also extended a special recognition to the agency by reserving a seat aboard this year’s flight for a BSO employee. BSO proudly selected West Park/Pembroke Park District Sergeant Christian Caballero, a United States Marine Corps (USMC) veteran who is also a 17-year BSO employee, as the recipient. BSO chose Sgt. Caballero because of his incredible patriotism, courage and dedication to our nation.
Sgt. Caballero enlisted in the USMC in 2000 and has served several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has close to 50 major awards and decorations, which include: three Purple Hearts, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, two of which are for Combat “V” Valor, and a Combat Action Ribbon. During one of his tours, Sgt. Caballero was wounded in combat by gunfire. Despite his injuries, Sgt. Caballero chose to enlist in the USMC Reserve and work as a local law enforcement officer so that he could continue to serve our country/community with pride.
As the selected recipient, Sgt. Caballero traveled to Washington D.C. and participated as an Honor Flight guardian. He was responsible for providing safety, comfort and friendship to a USMC veteran assigned to his care. An Honor Flight representative stated the organization intentionally paired the sergeant with a USMC veteran who is also the recipient of a Purple Heart award. The pairing allowed Sgt. Caballero to bond with his fellow USMC veteran, especially during their visit to the USMC Iwo Jima Memorial.
After the trip, Sgt. Caballero and all the veterans were surprised with a welcome home celebration at the airport. The celebration consisted of a ceremonious flag presentation by the South Florida Honor Guard and a bagpipe tribute.
BSO is proud to have participated in Honor Flight South Florida's commemorative one-day event honoring our nation's most heroic soldiers. The department humbly thanks all our military veterans for their dedication and service.