Honor Flight set for Saturday

“We were ushered to the bathroom and told to take off our uniforms and dress in civilian clothing for the airplane ride home. That was to protect us and our uniforms from being spat on or having something thrown at us,” said a veteran now proudly wearing a baseball cap bearing the embroidered words VIETNAM VETERAN.

He was talking with a Korean War veteran while waiting for his appointment at the VA (Veterans Administration) clinic in Carroll. “I got off the plane and walked to the bus stop, got off the bus and walked home,” replied the Korean War veteran.

“We can’t change the disillusionment felt by some of our veterans when they returned home with only their families to recognize their service, but Greene County is making a difference for our World War Two, Korean and Vietnam veterans now,” said Linda Hocke, coordinator for Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight.

Since 2014, the businesses and citizens of Greene County have sent 32 Korean War and Vietnam War Veterans on a Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight to recognize their contributions and sacrifices.

On the May 6 Honor Flight will be (front) Carter Fetters; and (back, from left) Louis Swanson, Jerry Spaulding, Jack Davis and Larry Brus. | contributed photo

On May 6, an Honor Flight will take off from the Fort Dodge Regional Airport with five more Greene County veterans on board; Jack Davis, a Korean War veteran, and Larry Brus, Carter Fetters, Jerry Spaulding, and Louis Swanson, all Vietnam veterans. They traded in their uniforms from long ago for red polo shirts and red hats designating them as being Honor Flight veterans.

They will be welcomed at the Dulles International Airport in Washington D.C. with a “water salute”.   The water salute, which involves two firefighting rigs spraying arcs of water over the plane, is a sign of respect, honor, and gratitude for our military veterans. And that’s just the beginning.

The veterans will tour the nation’s capital, visit their war memorials, witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and see Arlington National Cemetery as part of their day of honor. This is all made possible by donations from Greene County businesses and citizens.

Everyone is encouraged to see the veterans off and welcome them home at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport on May 6. The flight is expected to leave at 6:20 am and returns around 10:40 pm.

Greene County sheriff Jack Williams, also a veteran, plans to escort the veterans to the county line. Watch for details of their departure time from Jefferson and their route.

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