They’re a generation that are slowly diminishing, and that’s why it’s so important for the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight to get as many veterans to our nation’s capital to see the sights and the memorial that was built in their honor.
“I’m very pleased to be here, yes,” says Liscomb Veteran Carl Proescholdt.
“This has been real nice,” says Marshalltown Veteran Richard Warden.
The heroes got a VIP tour visiting not only the WWII Memorial but Korean, Vietnam and Iwo Jima, which for veteran Warden was an image he saw first-hand during the war.
“I was just on top of the ship and the ship was about 3 blocks from where they put the flag up, I was generally in the engine room so I was just lucky to be top side when they did that,” says Warden.
However, coming back to a memorial that stands for so much can be overwhelming, for someone who experienced it all in person.
“We lost some good people, so it’s kind of emotional,” says Warden.
All the veterans who went ranged in age from 85-97 and say being back in our nation’s capital brought back some of the reasons why they enlisted to begin with.
“I always wanted to be a pilot, I really did ever since I was two years old I wanted to be a pilot,” says Albion Veteran Clifford Gifford.
“I decided to join because we were in the midst of a depression, I couldn’t get a job, a decent job,” says Proescholdt.
Other stops included the Changing of the Guards and a visit Arlington National Cemetery.
But it’s seeing the memorials and reliving what they stand for that’s an experience these veterans hope others get the opportunity to be a part of.
“They should come out; it’s awesome,” says Gifford.
“Everybody in America should see it,” says Warden.
About 85 veterans from the Marshalltown area went on the trip.
The Eastern Iowa Honor Flight program is already planning its next trip to D.C. this June.
There are several spots still open. You can get more information on the trip and how to apply by visiting http://www.eihonorflight.org