• 57°

10 Clark veterans on weekend Honor Flight

Another 10 Clark County veterans will spend part of their Memorial Day weekend in Washington D.C. touring the monuments to our nation’s veterans and wars.

Six of those are going thanks to a partnership between Honor Flight, Baker Intermediate School and Winchester Federal Bank. The half-dozen, Wilbert Thomas, George Frazen, Jerald McNut, Thomas Miller Jr., Edsel Belfrey and Byron Madera, are all making the trip together Saturday.

All six have grandchildren attending Baker, HFK board member George Campbell said.

“Last year at Veterans Day, Baker Intermediate did a hat day fundraiser for doing something for veterans,” Campbell said. “They raised $1,000.”

Shortly afterward, Winchester Federal Bank matched that with another $1,000, he said. HFK raised another $1,000 to cover the expenses for all six.

The half-dozen will be among 76 veterans on Saturday’s trip, along with 76 guardians, one for each veteran. The guardians pay for their expenses, but the veterans’ expenses and flight are covered through sponsorships and donations.

Saturday’s flight will include 12 World War II veterans, 46 fought in Korea and another 18 served during Vietnam, he said. Other Clark County residents on the flight are Richard Lee Burrows, Larry Gordon Crowe, John Jenks Jr. and Robert H. Hood.

The one-day trip usually includes stops at ehe 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, as well as a stop at Arlington National Cemetery.

This trip will also be in memory of George Thacker, who served as chaplain for the organization since it began in December 2015. Thacker died about two weeks ago, Campbell said, and Thacker’s wife Kim will be on the flight as a guardian.

“He was always there to lead the honor flight in prayer,” Campbell said.

Part of the local Patriot Guard Riders will see the flight off and welcome them home Saturday, Campbell said, but part of the group will accompany the group for part of the day in Washington while they are in town for Rolling Thunder, an annual motorcycle event for veterans.

The public is invited to participate in the welcome home ceremony at Blue Grass Airport at 9 p.m. Saturday. 

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

email author More by Fred