Paying Tribute to the Men and Women of Western Slope Honor Flight
This Memorial Day weekend, let's reflect on the meaning of the holiday by remembering the veterans, volunteers, and guardians of Western Slope Honor Flight.
Over the course of two years, five flights, thousands of hours of fundraising, and countless hours of preperation, over 500 World War II veterans were flown from Grand Junction to Washington DC to visit their memorial. Enjoy a look back, and hear in their own words, their feelings about the memorial built in their honor.
Each of the five Western Slope Honor Flights began with a stop at Arlington National Cemetery, and a visit to the Marine Corps War Memorial.
WSHF veterans then visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. As a special tribute to Western Slope Honor Flight, the guards protecting the tomb would "scuff" their heals twice instead of once with each pivot.
Day two of each trip began early by taking the veterans to visit their memorial.
Each state and U.S. territory is represented by a column at the WWII Memorial. The veterans posed as a group in front of the Colorado pillar.
Congressman Scott Tipton joined the veterans at the memorial during the 5th Honor Flight. The Congressman awarded WSHF President Kevin Wodlinger with the plaque pictured, and informed the crowd that Wodlinger had been recognized by Congress earlier that same day.
The World War II Memorial is located directly between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
During each trip to the World War II Memorial, locals and tourists would approach our veterans and thank them for their service.
Each trip with Western Slope Honor Flight included "Guardians" who paid their own way, to the tune of $950, in order to assist the veterans. Brian Ramsey, an engineer at 99.9 KEKB, went as a Guardian on the first WSHF.