The Green Valley Elks #2592 hosted our returned WWII Veterans from the Honor Flight to a dinner at the Lodge. The honored Veterans were Archie Jackson, Ed Sawicki, Bob Willis and Bill Durall, P.E.R.
The Honor Flight left Tucson International Airport on September 29th at 6:00am. They flew from Tucson to BWI and they were greeted as they exited the plane with numerous American Flags waving, thunderous applause and special comments of appreciation of service to their country. They were brought to tears. The next morning they visited the WWII Memorial and toured the other attractions including the following: Memorials of Viet-Nam, Korean, Lincoln, Iwo Jima, Navy, USAF and Navy CB. According to Ed Sawicki, "Each of the Memorials were extremely well presented, but the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery was perfect with the changing of the guard and taps. It was most impressive. It will be an experience that I will not forget." Each of the other honored veterans expressed the same sentiment. Upon their return home, they were driven to Fort McHenry were school children sang the Star Spangled Banner and they recited a patriotic poem about the history of Fort McHenry.
Joining the honored veterans for dinner were Phyllis Wagaman, Octavia Bash, Ara Willis, Ethel Durall, Tom Bright, DDGER, Twyla Bright, James and Dori Carroll and Jack and Cheryl Ponzo. After dinner each of the honored veterans spoke about their experience in Washington, D.C and how meaningful seeing this WWII Memorial was to them. They all spoke of how grateful they were to the Green Valley Elks for their great contribution from the proceeds of their Travel Club to provide for their wonderful experience.
Honoring Our WWII Vets, April 7, 2011
Photo left to right:
Thomas Bright, DDGER
William Durall, P.E.R.
Article and photo submitted by Cheryl Ponzo - Leading Knight and Publicity Chairman of Green Valley Lodge #2592