PRINCETON—Three local veterans are gearing up for the first Honor Flight of Southern Indiana trip of 2017 scheduled May 6.
The annual trip provides veterans a free day-long trip to Washington D.C. to tour national monuments.
Flight Director Kathy Webster says this year Harold Wise of Princeton, Nolan Simpson of Fort Branch and Kenneth Wallace of Cynthiana will be aboard the hero flight. All three men served in the Korean War.
“Most of them didn’t have a homecoming when they returned from their conflict, they just came back and returned to work and their lives as usual,” Webster said.
“So this is a powerful program, and it is just another way for us to give back and honor our veterans.”
The trip includes tours of National World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Arlington National Cemetery, Korean War Veterans Memorial.
Webster says the there are a total of 181 people on the flight this year, 81 veterans and 81 guardians.
We try to do a flight once in the fall and once in the spring,” she said.
Wise, a Korean War veteran says he is looking forward to the upcoming trip.
He heard about the opportunity while at the Gibson County Courthouse on Veterans Day.
“I’m excited to see the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery,” said Wise.
Eighty-six year-old Army veteran Nolan Simpson will also be on the flight accompanied by his son Randy.
Simpson says his father (Nolan) was drafted in 1951 and stationed in Japan during the Korean War.
Life-long Gibson County resident Kenneth Wallace and his daughter-in-law Diane will be making the trip together. Wallace's wife Marilyn says he feels honored to participate and is beyond excited for the trip.
"We actually signed-up to participate in (Honor Flight) program three years ago and this year we received the call," she said. "He is just really looking forward to seeing everything, and especially visiting the Korean War Memorial.
In addition to the trip, veterans will be welcomed home with a nostalgia-theme parade at the Evansville airport. The public is welcome to attend.
For more information on the Honor Flight of Southern Indiana visit www.honorflightSI.org.