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home : current news : current news June 23, 2018

6/12/2018 1:15:00 PM
Sisters-area vet makes honor flight
Jeff Mackey VFW Post 8138, Guardian, (left) with Korean War veteran Lanny Jones at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. photo provided
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Jeff Mackey VFW Post 8138, Guardian, (left) with Korean War veteran Lanny Jones at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. photo provided

On Wednesday June 6, 25 Korean and World War II Veterans from Central Oregon met at the Portland Airport Shilo Inn to kick off the Central Oregon Honor Flight back to Washington, D.C.

Accompanying the veterans were 25 guardians and staff to ensure that each veteran remained safe, healthy, worry-free, and enjoyed this life-changing experience.

Flying out of Portland early on June 7, the honored veterans would experience two days visiting the World War II Memorial, the U.S. Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Navy Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Women in Military Service for America Museum, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Arlington National Cemetery.

The veterans were welcomed first by Congressman Greg Walden at the World War II Memorial, where each was presented an American flag that had flown over the Capitol. During the two days in D.C. the veterans were greeted by hundreds of tourists thanking them for their service. While touring the Capitol Building a young Korean woman approached several in the group and expressed obvious emotion as she thanked them over and over for what they had done for her family and Korea.

Topping off all the experiences the veterans enjoyed was a visit to the Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was the first time for most, as they got the chance to see a change of the guard as well as a wreath presentation ceremony. The Tomb has been guarded 24/7 since 1937.

On the return trip home there was a surprise "mail-call" - something all veterans cherish when serving away from home. The veterans received letters from family, friends, neighbors and school children. It was an emotional time for the veterans as grateful Americans expressed their thanks.

Korean War Veteran Lanny Jones wanted to express his sincere thanks to his friends from Sisters Elementary School and Sisters Christian Academy. Lanny was also thrilled to get letters from Indian Hills Elementary School in North Little Rock, Arkansas; and two other individuals, Reese Towle and Angelo Turchi.

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