Last Frontier Honor Flight takes two local veterans on round trip to D.C.

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Two local veterans arrived home this weekend from a trip to Washington D-C to visit memorials there, thanks to the Last Frontier Honor Flight.
Julia Laude attended this homecoming to see what the veterans thought about their expeirence in their nation's captial.

The Honor Flight network is a non-profit organization dedicated to honor and thank veterans, especially World War II veterans, by bringing them to Washington D-C, for a trip of honor with no cost to the veteran.
In Alaska, the Last Frontier Honor Flight, provides two opportunities for veterans to visit D-C.
When it comes to cost, Alaska Airlines provides tickets for the veterans and hotel, food and other expenses are covered by donations.
Board member for the Alaska hub of the Honor Flight Network, Julie Jones urges veterans to consider applying for an Honor Flight.

Julie Jones; Board member, Alaska Honor Flight >> "We are honored and we are humbled by the attitude of our veterans that serve our nation and have kept us safe and has brought us our freedom and so this is our chance to thank them for their service and we hope that anyone, everyone, all of our veterans will apply for this program and even if it takes a while we do want to honor you so please apply and also apply to be a guardian and support this program. It can be a cathartic experience for those who have experienced times of war."

At first, Air Force veteran Urban Eugene Rahoi didn't have an interest in participating with his local Honor Flight but one of the network guardians convinced this 98-year-old to apply.

Urban Eugene Rahoi; Honor Flight participant >> "It was kind of unique because I didn't really want to go because, I have reason for it. I was a pilot, flying high up in the mountains, air flying and I always felt that the people on the ground, fought on the ground should get it. I enjoyed all of it actually. I don't regret going."

For Air Force veteran Walter Gelinas, it was a friend who told him what a wonderful experience the Honor Flight had been.

Walter Gelinas; Honor Flight participant >> "There were so many favorite parts, I couldn't pick any one. And we visited I think every memorial that they have in D-C. From World War 1, 2, all the way up and the Lincoln memorial and it was a whirl wind tour but it was fabulous and the people are wonderful."

Gelinas was also presented with a quilt of Valor for his service.
Any veteran can apply for an honor flight with priority given to World War II, Alaska Territorial Guard, Korean War Veterans, and terminally ill veterans from all wars.

This is Julia Laude reporting.