Honor Flight

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By The Staff

The 20th Central Illinois Honor Flight, taking World War II veterans to see their memorial in Washington, D.C., left Marion at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13.


Most of the Honor Flight trips to D.C., are one-day trips. Flight No. 20 was a two-day trip for the 162 participants (75 Veterans, 75 Guardians, five registered nurses and seven volunteer staff).
The itinerary included: Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; Marine War Memorial (Iwo Jima); Air Force Memorial; American History Museum at the Smithsonian; National Air and Space Museum (where they saw the Enola Gay); WWII Memorial; Navy Memorial; Lincoln Memorial; Korean War Memorial; and Vietnam War Memorial.
The Sept. 13-14 Honor Flight included two female veterans, three veterans that had served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and one veteran who had served at Iwo Jima. The veterans were ages 85-91.
Upon the completion of the 20th Central Illinois Honor Flight, 1,150 Veterans had been flown to Washington, D.C., to see their memorial.
Central Illinois Honor Flight President Don Niehart announced that two more Honor Flights are scheduled for this fall.
Anyone wanting additional information on how to register a veteran for the flight or to apply to become a guardian for a veteran, can get information at www.centralillinoishonorflight.org.
Area residents who participated in the 20th Central IL Honor Flight were Jennifer Otto of Ramsey, Bret Brosman of Vandalia and Sandra Stine of Vandalia.


Jim Budlove of San Diego, Calif., and St. Elmo recently returned from the Honor Flight-San Diego to Washington, D.C.
Budlove was in the group of 90 World War II veterans from the San Diego area who flew to Washington on Oct. 5. They stayed at the Baltimore-Washington Hilton Hotel for the next two nights.
They spent Saturday, Oct. 6, viewing the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Viet Nam Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and Navy Yard Museum, and witnessing the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery.
Gary Roehm was the team leader, and Budlove said that Roehm did an excellent job of seeing that each man had an most enjoyable time.
“He told us, ‘This is our tribute to you for all the sacrifices you’ve endured so the rest of us can live free. This is your ‘Tour of Honor’ – enjoy a flight to your memorial and be treated with the honor you so richly deserve,’” Budlove said. Budlove served in the Air Force in Africa and Germany.
The group was given a hero’s welcome upon their charter flight return to San Diego on Sunday evening, Oct. 7, with a large number active service men from all the branches of the service, plus ROTC groups, motorcycle groups, etc., lined up down a long hallway, down the stairs and across a large area.