By Kay Wilson

One hundred ninety-two veterans including five from Nodaway County boarded a jet at KCI April 18 to travel to Washington, DC as a part of the Heartland Honor Flight travels.

Honor Flight volunteer personnel arrange for veterans to see the many veteran memorial sites in the nation’s capitol in one day. Four bus-loads of veterans and companions from Reagan National Airport were escorted by the Patriot Guard motorcycle unit and several capitol city police cars. Wheelchairs were available and meals were served to the honored guests. This was the first flight since the COVID pandemic. There is another flight from Northwest Missouri being planned in September 2023.

The five veterans from Nodaway County, Marlin Slagle, Dean Adwell, Paul Flanary, Doug Keever and Terry Allen, along with their companions, began their 22-hour excursion at 4:30 am.

Slagle recalled some of the veteran memorial sites being the World War II memorial recognizing the veterans who gave the supreme sacrifice of their life; the Navy Memorial with its seven water pools representing the seven oceans where Navy vets would have served; the 9-11 memorial at the Pentagon; the Air Force sculpture of jets in their traditional formation and the Marine Corp Iwo Jima memorial where Slagle noted as one travels the complete circle around the statue’s flag raising becomes more erect. He spoke of the Arlington Cemetery emotional “feels” and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the only World War II veteran on the flight along with a Korean Conflict veteran placed the wreath.

His companion was his son, Todd, who is the family pastor of Antioch Bible Baptist Church, Gladstone.

“Patriotism is alive,” emphasized Slagle about his trip. He was simply amazed at the heart-felt respect and honor that was displayed throughout his trip from beginning to end. Aboard the flight was a medical doctor from Lee’s Summit who had been on 30 Honor Flight trips.

The Northwest Missouri liaison is Kila Henry. She advises veterans who might be interested in the trip should go on the website for an application. After filling it out, it can be mailed to Henry at PO Box 186, Ravenwood, MO 64479. She said the criteria used to choose the veterans to go are two-fold: the enlistment date with the oldest being given first chance and the application date.