Veterans make ‘Honor Flight’

  A group of Switzerland County veterans — led by 100-year old, World War II veteran Clarence Blodgett — had the opportunity to participate on an “Honor Flight” last Wednesday.

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A group of Switzerland County veterans — led by 100-year old, World War II veteran Clarence Blodgett — had the opportunity to participate on an “Honor Flight” last Wednesday.

The local veterans joined a group of other veterans from all over the Tri-State area in flying to Washington, D.C. and experiencing a day being honored for their service while getting the opportunity to view many of the national monuments and memorials before flying back home on Wednesday night.

  Along with Clarence Blodgett, Switzerland County veterans making the trip included: Paul Covington, Bill Evans, Harold Scranton, Butch Tinker, Randy Brown, Randy Craig, Bob Peelman, and Ron Marguson. Ron Marguson’s brother, Richard, a Vietnam veteran from Middletown, Indiana, also made the trip.

The trip and its cost was sponsored by Nucor Steel Gallatin. According to ‘Honor Flight Tri-State’, this is the first Honor Flight in this area that was completely sponsored by a single corporation.

Each of the veterans was accompanied by a volunteer ‘guardian’, who assisted them as needed during the trip. Many of those guardians were Switzerland County residents who work at Nucor.

‘Honor Flight Tri-State’ is a Cincinnati-based, non-profit organization that was created to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifice to this country by providing them with a free visit to Washington, D.C.

It was a really full day for the veterans and volunteer guardians. Among their stops were the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Memorials, and Arlington National Cemetery.

Among the honors bestowed on the group was the watching the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery and having the privilege of placing a wreath in memory of those who gave their lives. Clarence Blodgett had the honor of assisting in the laying of the Memorial wreath.

The day began at the Cincinnat airport at about 5:45 a.m. as the veterans from Switzerland County — many traveling with Veterans Service Office Duane Covington while other made the trip with family members — were sent off with a ceremony that featured the Hamilton County Bagpipers, and the TSA Color Guard led the veterans to their charter plane.

Returning to the Cincinnati airport at about 8:15 p.m. that evening, the veterans were met by a throng of fellow veterans, family and friends, and others who wanted to show their appreciation.

‘Honor Flight Tri-State’ said that 60 Vietnam Veterans — the largest number ever — along with veterans made the trip. According to ‘Honor Flight Tri-State’, the Korean War veterans have never been honored before, as the Korean War was often called the “Forgotten War”. The trip included veterans from all branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.