On May 21 three men took flight from Cedar Rapids airport for a one day whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. They saw several of the monuments and got to watch the changing of the guards at Arlington National Cemetery as part of their Eastern Iowa Honor Flight trip.
The Honor Flight program helps to send veterans on trips to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials and monuments as a thank you for their service.
The three local men on this trip were Clive Wells of Plano, Wilbur Rush of Centerville and Raymond Berner of Seymour. Each man served during the late 1940s and early 1950s right out of high school. Rush enlisted after graduating from Corydon High in 1948. Wells and Berner enlisted after graduating from Seymour High School in 1949.
The veterans were welcomed home in grand style with a band playing marches, the Freedom riders motorcycle club all holding flags and hundreds of family and friends forming a tunnel to greet each veteran. To thank them for their service the veterans also received letters on the return flight. Kathy Heitmeyer's fourth grade class from Lakeview were among the letter writers and they were very appreciated.
When asked what the best part of the trip was, a resounding answer was, "It was all great but I'd have to say the reception when we got home."