Friday , May 24 2024

Valley Vets Touch Down in DC on Latest Honor Flight Trip

Rain and summer conditions have made it hot and steamy near our nation’s capital.

But any challenges the weather might pose are minor compared to what this group of 65 California war veterans has been through in their lives.

These World War II and Korean War veterans say they’re proud of their years of service.
That pride was bolstered by the random people who stopped to greet and thank them when arriving in Baltimore.
Some memories for this collection of veterans are painful. Many of them were aboard ships that sank and planes shot down in combat.
There is even a man who was a prisoner of war in Korea for two years in the early ’50s who is here to share his story.
Despite the challenges, these 65 veterans succeeded in protecting the country they love.
The oldest veteran on the trip is 97 years old and all of the vets are in their 80s and 90s.
Many of them have overcome medical challenges and even broken bones to make this trip.
The veterans I talked to say there is a lot to look forward to in D.C .:
"I probably will get emotional to see these memorials," says Manuel Dichner, a 91-year-old World War II veteran from Clovis. "I think about all the people who gave their lives for our country."
"I’ll be thinking about a lot of people it is amazing how the country has honored all of us," says Dorothea Eldredge, 91, a World War II veteran from Merced.
"My main concern is I’d like to see what the Korean memorial looks like and how they maintained it and if there are any names on there that I may recognize from serving in Korea," says Roy Minson, 81, of Visalia. Minson fought in the Army during the Korean War.
This is the first time Korean War veterans have joined World War II veterans on the Central Valley Honor Flight.
Veterans will tour memorials for both wars tomorrow. 
It very well could be an overwhelming day emotionally for the veterans making this trip for the first time.
While this group is resilient, Central Valley doctors and EMTs are here with the honor flight if they are needed to take care of our aging war heroes.

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