Fort Dodge area residents show how to appreciate veterans

Honor Flight support remains strong in the region

Real patriotism and real appreciation for area veterans were on full display in Fort Dodge Saturday night.

That patriotism and appreciation was demonstrated by some 200 people who gathered at Fort Dodge Regional Airport to welcome home the 19th edition of the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight.

Friends and relatives of the 132 veterans on the plane were in the crowd. But there were surely some in the crowd who didn’t know any of the veterans, but felt the need to be present to honor those who served their country.

The group showed up despite threatening weather. And those in the crowd skipped the chance to go to a country music concert downtown to wait for the flight.

While others talk about supporting veterans, Fort Dodge area people actually do just that.

The welcome home event also included a band, members of the Knights of Columbus and members of the Fort Dodge based 133rd Test Squadron of the Iowa Air National Guard.

Together, the group provided the welcome home that the veterans, most of whom served in the Vietnam War era, didn’t get when they came back from their military service.

The welcome home was a fitting conclusion to another flawless Honor Flight.

The Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight is itself an exercise in patriotism and selfless service to veterans. It was organized by an all volunteer committee that conducted its first flight in May 2010.

Ron Newsum is the chairman of the committee that organizes the flights. Mel Schroeder and Charlie Walker are two of the original committee members who are still serving. They’ve been joined by many others since that first flight.

The generosity of area businesses, civic groups and residents makes the flights possible.The Brushy Creek Area Honor Flights aren’t bankrolled by some big corporation. Instead a variety of large and small donations, ranging from coins dropped in jars to checks worth thousands, keep the program going.

All this happens because the people of the Fort Dodge area believe their neighbors who served in uniform are special.

We urge everyone to keep supporting veterans and the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight.