WASHINGTON D.C. - With help from the Northwest Ohio Honor Flight, two local Korean War Veterans got a second chance Wednesday to see the Washington D.C. memorial dedicated to their service.
Harold and Levi Shank are not only brothers, but also served in the Korean War back in the 1950s. They both took part in another honor flight last October, but when they got to D.C., they were unable to view the Korean War Memorial. It had been shuttered due to the federal government shutdown.Levi Shank says Northwest Ohio Honor Flight invited him and his brother back for Wednesday??s flight so they could finally see the memorial.
??It??s a wonderful gesture on their part,?? Levi Shank said of the organization.
Northwest Ohio Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization that raises money to fly local World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington to see their respective memorials at no cost to the veteran. Wednesday??s Honor Flight was a quick trip, leaving Toledo Express around 9 a.m. for the one hour flight to Washington. The Shanks along with the other five dozen veterans spent about six hours in the nation??s capital, visiting the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery before heading back to the airport for the flight back home. Even though it??s a quick trip, it can have a powerful impact on the veterans.
??It??s fun to see the ??fountain of youth?? effect. Some of the fellas go out on wheelchairs, come back, and they??re not in wheelchairs, just because they??re so rejuvenated and pleased that people have acknowledged that they did something for us,?? according to Beth Emery, the volunteer coordinator and board member of Northwest Ohio Honor Flight.
The organization has taken around 1,500 veterans to D.C. on 30 different flights since they began in 2007. But there are only three flights remaining (May 21, June 18, September 24) until Northwest Ohio Honor Flight shuts down operations for good. The group says they should be able to get the remaining veterans on their waitlist on one of those three flights.
NWO Honor Flight says if there are any other local World War II or Korean War Veterans that have not had a chance to go on one of their flights to contact the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight. Those flights originate out of Grand Rapids, Mich.