This monument was finally completed and dedicated on May 29 by then National Chairman Sen. Bob Dole. Now the World War II veterans were out of their youth and in their 80s, no longer in their fighting shape physically as they were in the 1940s. Time was not on their side, it just keeps marching on. Many veterans were either too ill, too disabled, too weak or financially unable to make the trip alone. That is the reason the Honor Flight came into being.
“The Honor Flight recognizes veterans for your sacrifices and achievements by having you fly, to Washington, D.C., to see the monument. The priority is given to World War II and terminally ill veterans from all wars. Trained honor flight guardians fly with each veteran on every flight, providing assistance and helping veterans have a safe, memorable and rewarding experience.”
“For what you and your comrades have given to us, please consider this flight a small token of appreciation from all of us at Honor Flight Fort Worth.”
Those paragraphs are from the Veterans application packet.
We all applied and some time later I received a call from Sandy Linde-Ellis. Sandy is a Weatherford-area resident and is president/co-founder of Honor Flight Fort Worth. We were put on a flight leaving on April 16. An information form advised us of a reception at the Botanical Gardens on April 7 for all on the flight and their families.
Fourteen members of my family attended the reception, plus Carl “Pete” Johnson and his son, Roger. Pete was the toggleleir on my B-17 bomber crew. Sandy invited them when I told her they were visiting me at the time.
The reception was a wonderful occasion. At sign-in we were given a packet that contained our schedule of events and a gift bag consisting of an Honor Flight jacket, shirt and cap to wear on the trip. About that time I heard someone back of me say, “He’s mine,” and it was my guardian for the trip, Judy Cohen. The minute I met her I knew I was going to enjoy having her as my guardian for the flight. Judy had located my bomber crew picture on the computer and made copies of it. She located Pete and I on the photo, we had not changed that much (laugh here).