LT William Myers, CEC USN Former
On March 26 a chartered Honor Flight left Tucson International Airport for Washington, D.C., carrying 68 military veterans, including two World War II veterans and eight Korean War veterans. The trip was organized and provided by Honor Flight Southern Arizona, which is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization providing three-day trips for World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans.
Among these veterans were also nine SaddleBrooke or SaddleBrooke Ranch veterans: Air Force veterans Jay Hansen and Robert Stocks; Army veterans George Bone, William Nagy, Harold Staves, and Paul Volpe; and Navy veterans Jeff Hansen, James Hanthorne, and Wayne Larroque.
COL William Nagy and LTC George Bone are also members of the Catalina Mountains Satellite Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. COL Nagy has just ended his three-year tenure as president, and George Bone is the organization’s treasurer. Wayne Larroque is also the commander of American Legion Post 132, Oro Valley.
Honor Flight of Southern Arizona provides a volunteer guardian for each veteran. The guardian’s role is to assure each veteran has a safe and memorable experience. The guardians meet the veterans at the airport and accompany them until their safe return home two days later.
While in Washington, D.C., the veterans visited the National Memorials erected by a grateful nation for those who served in World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War. The King, Lincoln, and Roosevelt Memorials were also on the itinerary.
The tour further included the Air Force Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Arlington National Cemetery. Special arrangements had been made for the veterans to witness the changing of the guard and wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The soldiers of the Third Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” have stood 24-hour-a-day watch over the tomb since 1948.
The Honor Flight returned the veterans from their unforgettable experience to Tucson International Airport in the evening of March 28. There they were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of family, friends, and supporters.
Honor Flight of Southern Arizona is an all-volunteer organization, which is part of the National Honor Flight Network. Honor Flight of Southern Arizona has no paid staff members, and, along with its sister organization, Honor Flight of Arizona, covers the whole state of Arizona.
For additional information concerning Southern Arizona Honor Flights, call 520-247-9700 or log onto the organization’s website honorflightsaz.org.