Veterans willing to wait to visit memorials in their honor

They want to see memorials honoring their service
Published: May. 20, 2023 at 4:28 PM CDT
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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - The wait is shorter than ever for Veterans in our area to see memorials in their honor.

Old Glory Honor Flight hosted its first recruitment event Saturday at Belmark, Inc.

Executive Director Diane MacDonald says the goal is simple:

“To get those Veterans signed up so we can get them out to Washington D.C. on their very own Old Glory Honor Flight.”

The event made it more accessible for Veterans without internet access or with a list of questions to fill out the application.

“We thought, hey, if we get 10 veterans to show up we’ve done something really good. I would say we’re for sure triple that right now so it’s pretty exciting. We might need to do this again!” MacDonald said. “We’ve had a waitlist all the way up to 1,200 veterans but that’s not the case right now. We’re at about 300.”

It takes roughly nine months to board an honor flight. That’s shorter than ever and Veterans in our area are more than willing to wait.

“I’m ready to go! All signed up and ready to go!” Randy Barth told Action 2 News.

Barth served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, suffering a gunshot wound to the neck while on a mission in a small village.

Action 2 News tagged along when he flew to Vietnam on an honor flight in 2019, when he told Jeff Alexander, “and the doctor, I remember the doctor saying to me when I finally come to, he says, ‘I’ve operated on people that got shot through the heart -- not the vital spots -- but you,’ he says, ‘you got more luck than a cat.”

Now, he can’t wait to see the memorials in D.C. after adding his name to the wait list.

“Any other veteran out there, if you get a chance, take the trip. I’ve never been to Washington D.C. but what I’ve heard from other veterans–it’s just great to see,” Barth said. “The people that put the Old Glory Honor Flight together are to me some of the greatest people I’ve ever met.”

You can read Barth’s feature from his visit to Vietnam here.