Honoring veterans: ‘A once-in-a-lifetime experience’


‘Once-in-a-lifetime experience’

By Andy Mitten - For the News Journal



Honor Flight veteran George Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. For many more photos of the Honor Flight, please see wnewsj.com.


Many people cheered and applauded the Honor Flight veterans


Honor Flight veteran Herbert Johnson at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Larry Satterthwaite with his guardian for the trip, Jennifer Wiswell.


Lonnie Davidson, Brady Stevens and George Day at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, Virginia.


Honor Flight veteran Ronald Thompson at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, Virginia.


Honor Flight veterans at Friday’s send-off ceremony in Wilmington, from left, Bruce Barricklow and Andy Mitten.


U.S. Army veteran Andy Mitten was a participant in the second Clinton County Honor Flight this past weekend. He has been the fire chief of the Harlan Twp. Fire & Rescue in Warren County for 51 years and has served as manager of fire & safety and fire chief of Kings Island for 20 years.

I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful the entire Honor Flight experience was this past weekend.

From the reception and meal at the American Legion in Wilmington to the ceremony at the veterans’ memorial to honor our veterans, most of whom were from Clinton County.

Then there was the bus trip, escorted by several police motorcycles and squad cars (through pouring rain) to Dayton. After a few hours’ rest, we got another police escort to the Dayton airport at 0300 (3 a.m.).

The plane took off for Washington, D.C. with three World War II veterans, several Korean War vets and the remaining were Vietnam Era vets, along with our guardians.

We received a welcome on the tarmac in Washington with fire trucks shooting water over the airplane.

As vets deplaned, a band played welcome music and the crowd waved banners and signs. It was perfect weather in Washington all day.

Our first stop was Arlington National Cemetery including time to see the changing of the guard, followed by:

• Iwo Jima Memorial

• Air Force Memorial

• Vietnam Memorials and Wall

• Korean War Memorial

• Lincoln Memorial

• World War II Memorial

Afterwards there was a dinner at a buffet, then the flight back to Dayton.

Upon arrival in Dayton, veterans were met by over a thousand well-wishers, including a large group of military soldiers and airmen, families and kids with posters, welcome signs, waving American flags, a large band playing patriotic songs and several women dressed in World War II outfits.

They were all cheering and clapping to the veterans, including 36 veterans in wheelchairs.

It was an unbelievable reception which brought tears to many of the veteran’s eyes.

And a truly patriotic, once-in-a-lifetime experience for all.

Honor Flight veteran George Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. For many more photos of the Honor Flight, please see wnewsj.com.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1261-1.jpgHonor Flight veteran George Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. For many more photos of the Honor Flight, please see wnewsj.com.

Many people cheered and applauded the Honor Flight veterans
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_DSC_0035-1.jpgMany people cheered and applauded the Honor Flight veterans

Honor Flight veteran Herbert Johnson at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1263-1.jpgHonor Flight veteran Herbert Johnson at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1267-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1269-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1262-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_DSC_0032-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1268-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_DSC_0033-1.jpg

Larry Satterthwaite with his guardian for the trip, Jennifer Wiswell.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1256-1.jpgLarry Satterthwaite with his guardian for the trip, Jennifer Wiswell.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_DSC_0024-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_DSC_0027-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_DSC_0031-1.jpg

Lonnie Davidson, Brady Stevens and George Day at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, Virginia.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1254-1.jpgLonnie Davidson, Brady Stevens and George Day at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, Virginia.

Honor Flight veteran Ronald Thompson at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, Virginia.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1253-1.jpgHonor Flight veteran Ronald Thompson at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) in Arlington, Virginia.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_andy-mitten-and-friend-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_IMG_1252-1.jpg

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_DSC_0009-Copy-1.jpg

Honor Flight veterans at Friday’s send-off ceremony in Wilmington, from left, Bruce Barricklow and Andy Mitten.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/web1_DSC_0002-Copy-1.jpgHonor Flight veterans at Friday’s send-off ceremony in Wilmington, from left, Bruce Barricklow and Andy Mitten.

http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/05/URLs-1.docx
‘Once-in-a-lifetime experience’

By Andy Mitten

For the News Journal