Flight 311
May 5-11-11
Sponsored by Walter Durkee
American Legion Post 311
Arranged by Bob Becker
The day began very early for 31World War II Veterans, with each one having a
guardian, two doctors and two nurses, to assist them. Check in was 5 AM with take
off at 6:15 AM. Coffee and rolls were waiting upon arrival at the airport.
Thanks to Tom Plaska and the Patriot Guard for the send-off.
Upon our arrival at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall
Airport we were greeted by a group of volunteers of Honor Flight Network. They
met us at the jet ramp and walked our group through the airport to the location
were our bus would pick us up. They provided additional walkers and wheel cars.
The history of Honor Flight Network can be located at
www.honorflight.org
Members from Post 305 that went on Flight 311 were
Jay Shook, Glen Klaver, Bill DeLeeuw, Chet Teater,
Bill Lysdahl and Bill White.
First stop was the World
War II Memorial
Coming up to the Freedom Wall with it's 4,000 stars,
representing over 400,000 Americans who gave their lives
in the war. A group picture was taken and Mike Burri
played Taps.
A special surprise was
Bob Dole who showed
up to meet all the Vets.
After a box lunch, in the park along the
Potomac River we proceeded to Arlington
National Cemetery and the Tomb of The
Unknown Soldier.
Then onto the Vietnam
Memorial
The Korean Memorial
After leaving Washington DC for the airport, much time was spent
riding the bus in rush hour traffic.
A stop at Country Buffet for dinner was a welcome sight by all.
We then left for the airport and were greeted once again by our new
friends from Honor Flight. They assisted use unloading and  guiding
use through the airport to our gate.
While waiting to begin boarding, "Mail Call" came. Each Vet was
given a package with letters from family and friends welcoming
them home. It was another emotional moment for the Vets.
After a long day the Vets were treated to
another surprise. Each Vets family and
friends were there to greet them on their
return home.
SAL
ALR
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