I am posting an interview about my Honor Flight in September,2017. I hope veterans 65 and over will sign up to go on an Honor Flight. I guarantee it will be one of the most significant events, you have experienced in this great game of life. Honor flight Tri-State and Columbus received 200 and 300 Batesville Shooter and Friends books for every veteran on their spring flight. They will receive another 500 in the fall. My connection with fellow veterans is one of the essential things on my agenda.
Larry Reidy was one of 70 veterans who participated in the recent Honor Flight Tri-State (please see box). They were each accompanied by a guardian. Reidy was his oldest daughter, Julie Yorn.
On Sept. 26, the group met at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport at 5 a.m., with the flight leaving around 7 a.m. for a whirlwind visit to Washington, D.C. “Everything was as smooth as could be, and I had such a good time,” reports the Ballstown resident, who is married to Nancy. The couple has seven children,18 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. After arriving in the nation’s capital, we started on the grounds of the Pentagon. Then we went to the Air Force Museum. We went to Arlington National Cemetery to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and saw the changing of the guard. We also went to the World War II, Korean and Vietnam memorials, and the Lincoln Memorial. It was a full day.
The veterans, their guardians, and organizers were transported by three buses, each with a medic on board, throughout the day.
He found the changing of the guard to be “very solemn” and was impressed with the Korean Memorial because “the statues were so lifelike.”
Their flight returned to the Kentucky airport around 8:30 p.m. “When we came back, my daughter and I were thinking how nice it would be to get home … (but) the organizers lined up those in wheelchairs and then everyone else. They had a big ceremony for us. There were even bagpipers.
“Fifteen hundred or more people including (about 15 of) my family members were there to greet us… Attendees included young people in the military and retired big brass who were in the service. We had no idea they were doing this. I’m not a very emotional person, but I almost lost it.”
Reidy, who served in the Army, recalls, “I was too young for Korea …. (and) when I was discharged in 1961, the Vietnam War hadn’t started. I am what they call a Cold War vet.”
The Honor Flight is “free for veterans, but you have to be over 65… They rely on donations to do this.” Guardians, who must pay their way, have to be 65 or younger.
“I didn’t know about this until my brother went on an Honor Flight in Colorado. It was essential to him.”
The 78-year-old reveals, “I made many new friends” by doing this. He encourages veterans to “go to the Honor Flight Tri-State website and think about applying for this trip before it’s too late.”
The day after returning from the flight, Reidy shared his thoughts on the organization’s website. He commented, “Yesterday, I had one of the finest experiences of my life joining 69 other veterans on an Honor Flight. The average age was 84, and the oldest vet was 97… I will never forget the total experience and being in the company of wonderful people, including the guardians.
“We had nine World War II veterans on our flight, and I have to say something about our Greatest Generation. I have always thought that if it weren’t for George Washington and his citizens who became his Army, we would have tea and crumpets instead of a beer at happy hour. They saved our country. The Greatest Generation consisted of the men and women who served in the armed forces and stayed at home, keeping the factories running during World War II. They saved the world!
“I hope some young people read this and will think about the sacrifices made by other generations so they could have a great life. Maybe they will understand why people like me will never understand or do anything to support anyone who disrespects our country.”
To show his appreciation to those who have served, Reidy says he will buy a drink for every veteran who comes into The Sherman, Lil’ Charlie’s, or the Batesville Veterans of Foreign Wars post on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11.
Honor Flight Tri-State