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Local WWII Vets to Fly to Washington D.C.

Four Old Main Village veterans honored for their service

MANKATO, Minn., (Sept. 27, 2011) – More than six decades after World War II (WWII) ended, four local veterans will be honored for their service as they take part in a national program known as Honor Flight. Arnie Wiens, Lee Asche, Lois Reed, and Ethel Frost, all residents of Mankato’s Old Main Village Senior Living Community, will take a one day trip to Washington, D.C. to see the memorial dedicated to them and their fellow servicemen.

These four, along with over a hundred other WWII veterans from Southern Minnesota will leave the Rochester airport in the wee morning hours of October 8th, escorted by 70 volunteers, including doctors and paramedics, to ensure everyone’s safety. They’ll be treated like royalty throughout the day and return back to Southern Minnesota late that evening.

The WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. was completed in May 2004 and was built to honor the men and women who served. Although individual trips to the memorial were not financially feasible for most, a one day trip is funded by donations to thank the veterans for their service. Honor Flight began by flying a few veterans to Washington, D.C. and later expanded to more than 80 cities with Honor Flight hubs. The hub located in Southeast Minnesota has allowed 913 veterans to visit their memorial.

Honoring veterans is nothing new at Old Main Village. They have a Veteran’s Club that meets monthly and annual events to observe Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Another Old Main Village resident, Robert Pulis, took part in Honor Flight back in May, with one of his sons serving as a volunteer escort for the day. After they returned, they gave a presentation of the event and that was what it took to inspire the Old Main Village’s Life Enrichment Director, Jackie Lupkes, to assist other veterans interested in the program. After the paperwork was filled out and a few phone calls and emails were exchanged, these four were notified of the honor.

As they prepare for the trip, these four veterans know this flight will be much different than those they took in the service. As we approach Veteran’s Day, let us remember and celebrate all veterans, but especially Mr. Wiens who served in the Army, Mr. Asche in the Navy, Ms. Reed in the Coast Guard, and Ms. Frost in the Army Air Corps. Thanks to all who support Honor Flight and may they have a wonderful trip.

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