We are grateful for your sacrifice

Veterans visit Washington, D.C. on 18th Honor Flight

We all likely know someone who has served in this nation’s military. After all, 16 million Americans served during the most horrific war in history — World War II.

More than six million served in the Korean War.

Almost nine million GIs were on active duty during the Vietnam War, from 1964 to 1973; 2,709,918 Americans actually served in Vietnam.

That’s 9.7 percent of their generation.

For nearly a decade, the Honor Flight program has made it possible for thousands of those veterans to visit the memorials to their personal sacrifices.

Locally, Ron Newsum heads a committee that has organized and carried out repeated Brushy Creek Area Honor Flights.

Saturday, the 18th of them took off from Fort Dodge Regional Airport in Fort Dodge.

One hundred and 40 veterans were on that flight.

They encompassed heroes from all walks of service, and a broadening spectrum of conflicts. You see, as time has passed, fewer and fewer World War II veterans are still living.

While that generation was the first to be afforded these trips to the national’s capitol, the continuing success of the Honor Flights is what has allowed the trips to be offered to younger veterans, including vets who served in Korea and Vietnam.

The continued support of donors, from individuals to service clubs, has meant that every deserving veteran who steps from the tarmac onto that jet today is flying for free.

In Washington, D.C., they were faced with bittersweet memories of their service.

But when they returned home, they were welcomed with the open hearts of people who are truly grateful for their sacrifice.

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