After a long time of coming back to reality, I would like to express my most sincere thanks and gratitude to Rockwell Collins, Hy-Vee Food Stores, Pepsico/Quaker Oats, Roger P. Uthoff and his competent staff, KWWL, and the some 14 other sponsors for the wonderful privilege of going on the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight on May 21. There were some 162 people who enjoyed (as I did) the marvelous sights of the flight on Sun Country Airlines to Washington, D.C.; the World War II Memorial; the Lincoln, Korean, Vietnam memorials; the FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for those who don't know him) Memorial; the Iwo Jima Memorial; a tour of Arlington Cemetery being escorted to the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier for the changing of the Guard; and to the Air Force Memorial.
Ninety of us were veterans who were awed at the sights and being able to tour Washington, D.C. on three busses, along with out guardians (people who escorted those needing help with wheelchairs), and the Honor Flight staff.
It has been a dream of mine to be able to return to Washington, D.C. to see the most recent Memorials. The last time I was in Washington, D.C. was in 1970. So this was a dream come true through the generosity of those many sponsors.
We were greeted at the Eastern Iowa Airport (Cedar Rapids), processed for boarding; served coffee and donuts; and in flight served an adequate breakfast. The cloudy day did not dampen our spirits and anxiety of the sights which were ahead. Around noon the sun came out and plenty of bottled water was available. There were visits by the Marine Corps Honor Guard, some political representatives, and Rockwell Representatives. We were also greeted along the entire trip by school children and people "thanking us for our service."
Interviews on the trip were aired later on KWWL.
One cannot say enough thanks to all of those who provided such an awesome experience. And a 'special thanks' to our local Hy-Vee Food Store for developing my pictures at no cost.