Honor Flight especially meaningful this time of year

Leonard Fevold, Tom Fevold, Paul Wright, Marvin Hamer, Steve Olson (Medical), Tom Erickson, Gary Cox, Leroy Orr, and Dennis Mraz (pictured left to right) stand at the Iwo Jima Monument in Washington, D.C. during their recent Honor Flight trip. Photo provided

At this time of year, Americans across this great nation take time to pause and pay tribute to our Veterans who gave their life defending our freedoms as they celebrate Memorial Day.  The Brushy Creek Honor Flight works 365 days a year to honor those Veterans still living, continuously raising funds to send them to Washington, D.C., free of charge, to give them a day of recognition they will never forget.  Recently, seven Wright County Veterans were part of this experience.

On the morning of Saturday, May 11, Marvin Hamer, Tom Fevold, Leroy Orr, Tom Erickson, Dennis Mraz, Paul Wright, and Steve Olson (who went as medical support) all arrived at the Fort Dodge airport in the early morning hours.  They were greeted by a grateful crowd who was there cheering them off on their way as they headed off on their day of being honored.  Upon their arrival in Washington, D.C., they were greeted by an even bigger crowd.

“One of the most impressive things (of the day) was just getting off the plane in D.C.” said Veteran Paul Wright of Eagle Grove who served from 1974 - 1976 as a Navy Hospital Corman who spent time with the Marine Corp.  “There had to be over 400 people there...that formed two lines of people from when we got off the airplane all the way out to and around the bus we boarded.  They were waving flags and shaking our hands...that right there brought tears to my eyes.  I felt like the President.”

“It meant quite a bit to me,” agreed Tom Fevold of Goldfield who spent four years as a Marine (1967 - 1971) and 28 years in the National Guard (1982 - 2010). Fevold, who served in Vietnam and also did two tours in Iraq said he had not even really considered going on the Honor Flight until Charlie Walker, one of the organizers, “talked him into it.”  Now, he’s glad he took his advice and went.

WWII Army Veteran Marvin Hamer of Eagle Grove said he too never really thought much about going on the Honor Flight.  In fact, he said he turned it down several times.

“There were other things going on.  I was busy.  But I’m glad I finally got to say yes this time” he said.

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