A flight back in time

The 80-90 year old men were boys again, poncho-clad and gently blanketed in falling snow, remembering.

“I think the Lord did some of that,” Glen Krueger reflected on his visit to the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. “He wanted to take us back to what it was like when we were in Korea.”

“I looked through the snow at the statues, and it was though they were looking at me, saying ‘hello, comrade,’” said Cliff Fisher.

A group of 460 Korean War veterans, including Krueger, Fisher and about a dozen others from Tribland, went on a one-day, unforgettable journey to visit the Korean War Memorial and other sites in Washington D.C. on March 25, representing the largest crew of servicemen in the nation to go on such a trip.

The excursion was organized by Patriotic Productions of Omaha, a volunteer organization run by Bill and Evonne Williams that offers trips for combat veterans to visit the nation’s capital to honor their service and remember the sacrifices of the fallen.

The organization conducted seven Heartland Honor Flights between May 2008 and April 2009 that took 1,500 Nebraska World War II veterans to see the WWII Memorial in D.C. An inaugural honor flight for Korean War Veterans was conducted last October and several Tribland veterans took that trip.

This flight marked the last Korean War memorial flight, and the largest contingent of volunteers and veterans to have taken such a journey.

“It was an honor to be with people who have served our country, reflecting on the fact that freedom is not free. These men were finally able to talk about their experiences and share the stories behind their service,” said Kim Wilder, who works at the Adams County Veterans Service Office and went on both Korean honor flights as a chaperone.

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