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Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight to take local heroes to Washington

Veterans to see their memorials

Sixteen million Americans served in this nation’s military forces during the most horrific war in history – World War II. The nation’s official memorial paying tribute to their sacrifices was a long time coming. It finally was opened to the public on April 29, 2004, in Washington, D.C. Sadly, many of the veterans who proudly wore their country’s uniform and survived those long-ago battles did not live to see this tribute to their service completed.

Five years after World War II ended, communist North Korea invaded South Korea and the United States rushed to defend the people of South Korea. Today, not far from the Lincoln Memorial, a group of statues representing members of all branches of the American military on a winter patrol in South Korea honors the veterans of that conflict.

Decades after the guns of World War II fell silent, the United States was at war again, this time in Vietnam. Some 58,000 Americans died in that war. Their names are etched into a somber memorial sometimes called The Wall.

Many local veterans of those conflicts never saw those memorials until the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight program began in 2010.

Ron Newsum, of Fort Dodge, heads a committee that organized and has carried out 18 Brushy Creek Area Honor Flights. Through these flights, veterans were afforded the opportunity to journey to the memorials between 2010 and this year.

The 19th trip of the local Honor Flight program is today. The chartered jet will leave Fort Dodge Regional Airport very early this morning and will return late tonight. The veterans will spend the day touring the various war memorials in Washington, D.C. They will also visit Arlington National Cemetery and witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.

We urge people from throughout the area to gather at Fort Dodge Regional Airport tonight to give the returning veterans the rousing welcome most of them did not get when they came home from war.

The program initially honored veterans of World War II. Since it has been more than 70 years since that war ended, not many those who fought and won that struggle are still alive. Even fewer are well enough to make the journey to Washington, D.C. Consequently, the most recent flights have involved veterans of the Vietnam War, Korean War and any remaining World War II veterans who are able to participate.

The veterans fly for free on these inspiring journeys thanks to the funds raised by the local Honor Flight Committee.

The Messenger applauds this effort and strongly supports these flights. Making certain that every eligible veteran who wishes to participate has the chance is an important goal. Contributions to support additional flights can be sent to Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight, Walker Law Office, 320 S. 12th St., Fort Dodge, IA 50501.

The veterans being honored for their service to our nation should be a source of pride to us all. Their sacrifices so long ago helped make the liberty we enjoy in the 21st century possible.