Honor flight opportunity to show Vietnam vets gratitude

Published 10:50 am Saturday, October 14, 2017

This weekend, six dozen Vietnam War and Vietnam-era veterans and a like number of guardians will take part in Honor Flight Kentucky’s first all-Vietnam veterans trip to Washington, D.C.

The veterans on the flight include 43 from the Army, 11 from the Air Force and nine each from the Navy and Marines. There are also 12 Purple Heart recipients and one Bronze Star recipient among the veterans.

This trip will include a special pinning ceremony on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where each veteran will receive a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War pin, which was authorized by Congress. Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, state Rep. Donna Mayfield (R-Winchester) and Brigadier General (ret.) Norman Arflack, executive director of the Kentucky Department for Veterans Affairs, will participate in the ceremony. All three will also be traveling as guardians for veterans on the flight, he said.

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The Clark County veterans on the flight are John Raymond Ashley, Hunter Hess, Robert A. Holder, William G. Kennedy, Kenneth G. Lear, Wilson H. McComas and David G. Stanfield.

The Honor Flights transport veterans and their guardians to Washington, D.C., for a day

Historically, Vietnam-era veterans did not receive the same warm welcoming home and faced some critical public reception.

We are glad to see a local organization taking extra steps to make up for that by providing this special trip for Vietnam-era veterans.

Along with the trip will be a celebration, which can finally offer these individuals a welcome home fit for their honor and sacrifice. 

The flight will depart from Bluegrass Airport in Lexington at 8 a.m. Saturday and arrive at Washington Reagan Airport at 9:20. The schedule includes stops at the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, the Women’s Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial.

The flight is scheduled to return to Lexington at 9:10 p.m. Saturday. There will be welcome home celebration that is open to the public at Blue Grass Airport.

We encourage attendance and celebrations for these individuals who sacrificed much for our freedoms, our safety and our country.