BEND, OR -- Nearly 50 World War II veterans from Central Oregon just returned from the trip of a lifetime. Organizer Dick Tobiason says this weekend's Honor Flight brought vets to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials for the Korean and Vietnam wars, among others.
"This is our 11th trip," Tobiason says. "We took 48 veterans on that trip, and that brings our total for the last five years to 454 veterans. We couldn't present the flags to the veterans at the World War II Memorial, but we have a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol on the 70th anniversary of V.E. Day, which was May 8. So they presented the flags to the veterans at the Capitol, in front of the memorial to General Eisenhower."
The group returned to the Portland Airport Sunday to a heroes' welcome. "For everyone on the trip, the veterans and the guardians, it's a life-changing event," Tobiason says. "A woman veteran we took said, 'I never had this kind of treat when I came back from the war!'"
Bend Senior High will host the "Honor Flight Movie
" on Wednesday, May 20, which will also recap the latest trip to Washington. The event is a precursor to Memorial Day, May 25. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The Notables swing band will play music from the WWII era from 5:00-6:00 p.m.
The movie begins at 6:00 p.m., with a live auction during intermission. Tickets are $10 and are available online
or at Jake's Diner. WWII vets and their spouses are admitted free. All proceeds support future Central Oregon Honor Flight trips.