WILMINGTON — As some Clinton County veterans get ready to board their Honor Flight this weekend, many of them feel a sense of patriotism, honor, and gratitude swell up inside them. They also look forward to an experience unlike any other.
Pleasant Plain’s Lou Hornberger, 69, who served in the Army from 1969 to 1975, got an idea of what to expect on the trip from his wife Sherry who also served in the Army and took part in an all-women Honor Flight out of Cincinnati last year. Matter of fact, the two met while both were serving in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
“She’s been filling me in daily about this. She’s never quit telling people about it,” said Hornberger. “The extra thing that happened to her was it was the same day that the Pope came to D.C. So, the city was basically shutdown and they pretty much … weren’t inhibited by traffic.”
While Hornberger is certain a similar case won’t happen with his Honor Flight, he is sure this flight will be special because he’s bringing his eldest daughter, Stacey Jung, as a guardian. He hopes having her along will also be a unique and memorable part of the experience.
“I’m really looking forward to actually sharing a whole day just with her,” said Hornberger. “In life you don’t get to spend as much time as you want with the people you love or as much as you’d like to.”
Hornberger is not only thankful for the time he gets to spend with his daughter but also for the opportunity to take part in this event.
“A lot of people have stepped up to give us this opportunity, in such a special way. It’s a good reflection of the patriotism that we all believe in,” said Hornberger.
Fellow Vietnam veteran, James Sams, 72, of Sabina, is happy to see military veterans getting recognized from both Clinton County and the United States. Sams, who served in the Marine Corps from 1962 to 1970, couldn’t be more excited to take part on the Honor Flight.
“I’m elated, proud, and anything else that goes along with that,” said Sams. “I’ve always wanted to go. I’ve always been a World War II buff and I want to see the World War II Memorial and especially the Iwo Jima Memorial. I’ve seen the miniature sized Vietnam Wall and the traveling wall but I’ve never seen the real thing, and I know guys on that wall.”
For some veterans, including Harold Tuvell, 83, of Wilmington, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to ’55, they’ll be looking forward to not only visiting the nation’s capital but also to connecting with fellow veterans.
“I think it’ll be an awesome experience. Not only that, but also getting to spend time with local veterans I might not have known about,” said Tuvell.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-556-5766.