A local World War II veteran will travel to Washington, D.C. May 18 on a one-day trip to visit the memorial created in honor of his service.
Sam Casey will be 80 years old when he takes part in the Northwest Arkansas Honor Flight, a program that flies WWII veterans to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. and home again in one day.
An Airbus 320 is being chartered to transport the group of about 50 veterans that will be going on the May trip, along with guardians and medically trained assistants, according to a letter sent to Casey about the flight.
Casey’s son David will travel with him as his guardian, he said.
Casey, a resident of Hope’s Creek Assisted Living in Van Buren with his wife Mary Lou, served in the Reserves for a year before being inducted into the U.S. Air Force - formerly known as the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps - in 1943. WWII lasted from 1939 to 1945.
Casey is thankful that he and other WWII veterans are getting the chance to visit D.C. and the memorial, he said.
"I feel like it is a great service they’re giving to these men," Casey said. "And yes, I feel honored that I’m able to go."
Casey will be the third Crawford County resident to take the Honor Flight for WWII veterans, he said.
According to the Honor Flight Network website, about 800 WWII veterans die every day. The mission of the program is to fulfill the dream of many veterans to visit their war memorial, according to the website.
Honor Flight Network program was created by Earl Morse, a physician assistant and Retired Air Force Captain, to honor veterans, according to the website. The first Honor Flight took place in May 2005.
Once all living WWII veterans have taken an Honor Flight, the program will then focus on Korean and Vietnam War veterans, according to the website. Tyson and Walmart sponsor the NWA Honor Flight.