Just days after one group of veterans returns home from their Honor Flight, another prepares to take off for Washington tomorrow.
Nearly two dozen vets are leaving Owensboro tomorrow afternoon for their one-day experience.
“This will be an experience that I haven’t had before,” says Roger Coltey, who spent 20 years in the armed forces, many as a Navy medic, and some helping the original astronauts. He served during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
He says he’s seen the memorials in D.C. in the past.
“It was memorable. It’s something that just gets in to you right away,” he recalled.
This visit, to those same memorials, won’t be the same for him.
“It’s a lot different because you are going to be with a group of veterans, people who shared some of the same experiences with you, some of them who’ve had probably more,” Coltey says. “They see this wall and the other memorials, and I’m sure it gets to them.”
It won’t be the same for anyone else.
“Most of the families that I’ve talked to on after the flight, the families of the veterans will say that it changed completely that they want to talk about their service,” says Lt. Kent Taul of the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office, who has accompanied the veterans on past flights.
Organizers say most of the veterans served in the Korean or Vietnam Wars, yet they still found five World War II veterans to join them, at a time when fewer are around to join them.
“To listen to the stories of those guys, you remember the news and the history, but to listen to those guys, it’s amazing,” says Lt. Taul.
“It could be tearjerking, hard to hold them back. But I’m sure some of us will shed tears again like we did before,” Coltey says. “It’s something else.”
The group will leave from the Owensboro SportsCenter parking lot Tuesday at 12:45 PM, and will return to Owensboro on Thursday at 1:00 PM at Settle Memorial United Methodist Church.