Veteran Recounts Honor Flight
The following letter was recently published in the Dallas Itemizer Observer, written by long time EBC member Melvin Olfert.
“On June 23, I was a very happy World War II veteran. My doctor, Dr. Edwardson, recommended me to the Honor Flight TLC program. This is a nonprofit program which honors veterans from WWII, Korean and Vietnam wars by giving them a free trip to Washington, D.C., to see all of the national war monuments.
First stop was the WWII Monument, built in 2004, a beautiful fountain in the middle surrounded by pillars representing each state.
They didn’t rush us back to the bus. We got to sit and view the monument. While sitting there under the shade trees, many people would come to us and shake our hands to thank us for our service. Young children would come to us as well as older people.
People knew we were veterans because Honor Flight gave all the veterans a T-shirt labeled, “Veteran.” On the back of the shirt there were two quotes which read, “If you can read this, thank a teacher,” and “If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.”
We traveled to the Lincoln, Vietnam and Korean memorials. The Navy Monument was next. Then they took us to the Arlington National Cemetery where we saw the changing of the guard. We saw the Iwo Jima statue, then the Air Force Monument, where we all got out of the bus and had a group picture taken to remember the trip. There were 20 veterans and 20 guardians on this trip.
Thanks to Honor Flight’s Diane and Jane, plus 20 volunteers who helped us at the airport, pushed us in our wheelchairs, and helped us in and out of the bus.
Thank you Dr. Edwardson, for suggesting this, and the Honor Flight program that gives veterans this chance in a lifetime.
Melvin Olfert, 96, has been a resident of Dallas and member of Evangelical Bible Church for over 79 years. He still lives on his own farm and enjoys fixing things.