As you read their names and ages, please rise to your feet and gentlemen, please also remove your hat. Feel free to offer a sharp salute if you are so inclined. Harold Kaiser, 93. Alexander Bence, 87. Myron Rockhill, 92. Chris Zeheralis, 86. Schuyler Hales, 85. Harold Jennings, 86. Marlin Savidge, 88. Dewitt Auer (age unknown). Willis Welty, 86. Larry Brewer, 92. Charles Bowman, 90.
Eleven brave men from Hamilton County are going on a march once again. A very different kind of march than the one they were called to some 60 years ago. This time, for their heroic and selfless duty to their country as Veterans of World War II, the march is for them; a gift from a grateful nation and admiring public.
On April 20, these 11 brave men will join other Vets and board Indy Honor Flight along with medical personnel and an Honor Guardian for each man. Their mission: to travel to Washington D.C., to personally experience the World War II Memorial. The monument opened in 2004 and since then, Honor Flight has believed it is critical that WWII vets have the opportunity to visit the site before time runs out. Volunteer Honor Guardian Lori Garrison is accompanying Harold Kaiser on his march to Washington. She said, “Approximately 800 WWII vets die each day, so it is critical we get as many to the memorial as possible, as quickly as possible. The Honor Flight Network is a great way to do that, and I am proud to accompany Mr. Kaiser.”
The Honor Flight takes place during one very full day. That evening, Indy Honor Flight will make its final approach and the vets will take part in the final leg of their journey; A Welcome Home Celebration at the Indiana National Guard Armory-38th Infantry Division, 3912 W. Minnesota St., Indianapolis. A large crowd would be ideal, so the public is invited to show up and proudly wave an American flag. Arrive no later than 8:30 p.m.
The day is all about the vets. The sacrifice they made in the name of freedom can never be repaid. “An Honor Flight is simply a small token of our appreciation for everything they have done,” Garrison said. “I, along with the other Guardians, will make sure the day is filled with thanks, recognition and admiration for each one of these vets.”
To learn more about the program, donate money to make sure there are future flights or sign up your vet for a trip, visit www.indyhonorflight.org.