Paul Anderson and Ken Renner recently participated in an honor flight to visit the military memorials in Washington D.C. They shared with the congregation about their trip at.the Harrison Community Baptist Church during a Veteran’s Day recognition on Nov. 10.
The Honor Flight left Spokane Airport on Oct. 7 at 6 a.m. The chartered flight flew directly to Washington D.C with the group of around 90 veterans and 50 guardian/escorts. There were seven WWII veterans. One of which was a female Marine sergeant who turned 90 during the trip.
“My admiration for the organization and the escorts, or handlers as we called them. They had to pay their own way for the trip and it costs around $1000 to go.” said Renner. “I would encourage all veterans to put in for this experience.”
The group was loaded on buses and escorted through Washington D.C. by police. They visited the Air Force Memorial, Women in Uniform Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, WWII Memorial, Korean Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Navy Memorial and the Marine Corps Memorial. A retired Army Lt. Col., who was in their group, played taps at each of the memorials.
“The Arlington Cemetery doesn’t have a big impact on T.V.” said Renner. “It doesn’t hit you until you walk around in there; what a cost we’ve paid for our country.”
Anderson recalls looking at the flat stones of the Vietnam Memorial trying to find the names of the 134 men who died on his aircraft carrier. They died in an explosion on deck when they were near Vietnam.
“I was impressed with the Women in Uniform Memorial.” Said Paul Anderson. “There isn’t enough emphasis on women in the military.”
The Honor Flight took only two days and one night but left a big impact on both of the men.
“I was moved when a Vietnamese family grabbed me by the arm and said they wanted to thank me for what we tried to do for their country.” Said Kenny Renner.
Anderson served in the Navy from 1956 to 1976 and worked with aviation maintenance on an aircraft carrier.
Renner served in the Navy from 1961 to 1965 in Vietnam, during the nuclear bomb test and the Cuban missle Crisis.