"I don't have any family, but I've got family."
Veteran Richard Bauer was a medevac pilot in the Vietnam War.
"Ninety percent of the people that are here, they're friendly as friendly can be."
Enlisted at a young age, he grew up in the service and now, the VA Hospital in Canandaigua is his home. A garden was his idea, putting a personal touch on his backyard, and as a way to pass the time.
"It was to a point where I was counting the minutes until I died."
Bauer has terminal cancer.
"It's caused by agent orange."
He focuses on making people laugh, being optimistic and does he have stories.
Looking back on his life, Bauer realized there was something he shied away from. Something he needed to do.
"My mind is going a hundred miles an hour because I'm hoping I'm gonna meet somebody who I was in the service with before."
On Friday, Bauer is taking an Honor Flight to Washington where he will meet up with groups of veterans to see the memorial.
"This is my way of thanking the guys for their contribution to the war and... saying goodbye."
But he may not get that chance. Many memorials have been closed due to the government shutdown.
This vet has given a lot for his country, not to mention being a prisoner of war for almost four years. But he will gladly settle, he says.
"Maybe they have a plastic model of the memorial I can have."
Perhaps a brochure, he says, with the names of those who died, would be enough. And even if the gates are closed:
"I am going to stick my hand out as far as I can and know it's there."
Honor Flight vice president John Burns says he's determined to make it a memorable trip and will even take them around Arlington.
"There's times during the trips when the veterans engage with the public and the public thanks them for their service and talks to them, it's another really big part of the trip, and that's not gonna go away."
The hospital plans to dedicate the garden to Richard. Just another way he will leave his mark on the country he fought so hard for.
"I'm gonna come home with peace. I'm definitely gonna come home with peace, and I'm definitely gonna make the best of it."
Richard Bauer will arrive at the memorial on Saturday.