Wearing shirts of red and hats adorned with stars, two gentlemen speak and laugh animatedly at the World War II Memorial. It’s a strange sight, until you realize they’re experiencing a reunion of sorts.
Though initially unaware, both discovered they were stationed at the same Air Force base in France at the same time as they served during the Korean, Cold and Vietnam wars.
If it wasn’t for Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana, the reunion may never have happened.
This is just one of the many stories from April’s 31st flight. More than 70 veterans who served during World War II, the Vietnam and Korean Wars, as well as the Cold War, were recognized for their sacrifice with an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials dedicated to them.
LaGrange County REMC is honored to be a contributor to Honor Flight Northeast Indiana, which has hosted more than 2,200 veterans on such trips since the program began.
It’s a long but rewarding day for the veterans, their guardians and all involved on the trip.
The veterans and their guardians started the day at the Fort Wayne National Guard base, where they were given an early morning send off before flying to D.C. to visit as many memorials and monuments as possible in one day. These included memorials to World War II, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korea, Air Force and Women in Military Service.
At Arlington National Cemetery, the group witnessed the changing of the guard and the laying of the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Thousands of patriotic fans, family members and friends welcomed the Honor Flight participants home as they disembarked the airplane at Fort Wayne International Airport late that evening, with some veterans overcome with emotion at the sight.
Communications Specialist Kelly Lynch traveled with the group to document the day through photographs, including the ones featured here. The photos will be featured in a book, sponsored by the REMCs of northeast Indiana, that each veteran will receive to commemorate the day.
It was a day Lynch will never forget.
“Witnessing a Vietnam veteran saying hello to a ‘brother’ listed on the war’s memorial wall and a female veteran being recognized for her service during the Cold War has ingrained in me the weight of the sacrifice each veteran gives during their service,” Lynch said. “It was one of the most fulfilling and humbling experiences of my life.”
LaGrange County REMC is proud to stand behind and support these veterans through this honoring of their sacrifice. Honor Flight is a richly deserved tribute to our veterans who bravely defended our country.