Iowa Veterans visit Washington D.C. on the 25th Honor Flight
posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in The Cedar Valley Community
Original article written by Thomas Nelson, writer for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
On Tuesday evening 95 veterans from the Cedar Valley and eastern Iowa area all embarked on a one-day trip to Washington D.C. to commemorate their service. This flight came a day before the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. that took place 18 years ago. Going on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11 gave Tuesday’s flight a deeper significance for many of the veterans, considering they’ll see the Pentagon, which was one of the buildings attacked that day.
The Cedar Valley Honor Flight has transported more than 2,200 veterans to Washington, D.C., since its inception, 25 years ago. The Honor Flight was first established in 2004 for the benefit of World War II vets, but has expanded to bring Korean and Vietnam war veterans in recent years. The flight takes veterans of the Vietnam War, World War II and the Korean War to Washington to view the many war memorials residents of Iowa wouldn’t regularly be able to see.
There was only one World War II veteran on this trip, Dick Ormston, 94, of Waverly.
“I never got out of the United States,” Ormston said. “I didn’t think I deserved it (to go), but they finally talked me into it. It’s an honor, and I marvel at how organized everything is,” Ormston said.
Linda Bergmann, Cedar Valley Honor Flight coordinator, has gone on 18 of the 25 honor flights.
“It’s a service that’s needed for a lot of veterans,” Bergmann said. The camaraderie of being around so many fellow veterans helps a lot of those veterans release their baggage.
“It goes right to your heart,” Bergmann said.
State Sen. Bill Dotzler joined his fellow veterans on the flight while accompanied by his grandson. Dotzler served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1972.
"It’s a pretty amazing and great thing,” Dotzler said. “It’s really a special flight.”
For Dotzler the flight isn’t just for the veterans, but for their families.
“I’m honored to have my grandson along with me, and that experience together will make it extra special,” Dotzler said. “It’s going to be a special day.”
Dick Ormmston, (pictured right) a World War II veteran was one of the veterans to attend the Honor Flight Tuesday.
Pictures from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, KWWL and the Exchange Club of Waterloo.