Honor Flight Welcomes Home WWII Veterans

8 years 6 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, September 28 2010 Sep 28, 2010 Tuesday, September 28, 2010 8:25:14 PM CDT September 28, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Veterans and friends on Central Missouri Honor Flight #11 will arrive in Columbia around 10:45pm Tuesday, escorted from Kingdom City by nearly 200 motorcycle riders. Honor Flight also remembered those veterans who were unable to make the trip with an event Tuesday afternoon on Bluff Creek Drive.

World War II veterans James Meyers, Norm Lehardt, Fred Press, and Michael Holland skipped Tuesday's trip. Mr. Holland was originally signed up for the flight, but his doctor warned him the air travel and altitude would be too much for his poor health. The remaining three veterans decided to stay in Columbia with Mr. Holland.

James Meyers is a Columbia native, who started his service career by enrolling in a local ROTC program. He said he had another good reason to skip this week's trip.

"Come Saturday this week, my wife and I will celebrate our 72nd anniversary," he said. Bluff Creek Terrace employees said Mr. Meyer's wife is very ill, and he did not want to leave her side.

The Honor flight riders gathered outside Bluff Creek Terrace just before 7pm, then caravanned a few driveways down the road to Tiger Place Independent Living for the event. There, the veterans were presented with an American flag and honorary badges for their service. The event was a surprise for the veterans, who found out just a few hours before the motorcycles arrived.

Anyone who would like to welcome home the Honor Flight Tuesday evening should arrive at the Courtyard By Marriot in Columbia by 10:45pm.

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