• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 33s

Honor Flight vets embark on journey to DC

By Joe Vigil 9:13 PM May 6, 2014

It was a memorable day for 46 World War II veterans.

The remarkable journey started at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. For years of service and sacrifice, vets received “thank you” after “thank you” the moment they entered the airport.

This is Honor Flight 2014 — taking these vets to the World War II Memorial. It has only been around for about 10 years, so most of these men and women haven’t seen it. Organizers have raised tens of thousands of dollars to send them there. Alaska Airlines is comping the airfare. Geneva Woods has provided all the wheelchairs. Simply stated, these vets are going to Washington, D.C., for free.

Honor Flight volunteer Jacki Kalnoski said helping is the least she can do for those who sacrificed so much.

“I am so pumped,” Kalnoski said.

Kalnoski, a retired corrections officer, has at least 40 relatives who have served our country. When we finally caught up her, we better understood why she wants to help out.

“Because they gave me my freedom,” she said. “Every one one of these men and women gave me the right to make my choices today and they need to be thanked for that.”

Veterans were swapping stories, some of which they had never told. They were also making lifelong friends.

“This is typical Alaska, once you meet somebody you’re friends for life,” one veteran said.

The Alaska Air National Guard put the call out Tuesday for any members who wanted to send the group off. And just before departure, there was one more spontaneous, heartfelt “thank you” from an Alaska Airlines flight attendant who sang “America the Beautiful” as veterans filed onto the plane.

We are taking you along on the ride because for many of these vets, this could be the last chapter of their lives. Seven hundred World War II veterans die every day.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Community mourns lives lost in series of shootings, urges prevention

    by Liz Raines on Aug 26, 22:16

    After a deadly summer, people around Anchorage are hoping to turn things around. At least nine young men have been shot to death in the last three months. On Friday, dozens turned out for an anti-gun violence rally and vigil at The Drift Gallery Dance Studio. The event was organized by a grass roots group […]

  • Sports

    Week 3 of Alaska high school football

    by Dave Goldman on Aug 26, 22:13

    West 34  Chugiak 23 West High School broke open a close game in the second quarter, then had to hang on thwarting a late rally against host Chugiak High School at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium. The Eagles (2-1) took a 21-7 into the half as Qyntyn Pilcher found Turek Taylor for a 25-yard touchdown. The Mustangs […]

  • News

    Hiland Lullaby Project: Music to connect inmates and their children

    by Rhonda McBride on Aug 26, 22:04

    There’s something promising cooking at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center for women. The recipe is simple. You bring women together –- both inmates and local musicians –- to compose lullabies. The artists record the songs on a CD, along with a personal message from the inmates. The result? A way for inmates to connect with […]

  • News

    Child struck by car severely injured, expected to survive

    by Megan Edge on Aug 26, 21:22

    A child who was struck by a car Friday evening and suffered “sever injuries” is expected to survive, according to Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro. According to Castro, police were notified that the child was struck in a trailer court near Fiji Street and Tonga Street  at 8:15 p.m. The child was riding a […]

  • News

    Whale carcass continues to degrade near Kincaid Park

    by Lauren Maxwell on Aug 26, 20:29

    A humpback whale that washed ashore in Kincaid Park is still there. High tides that lapped at the shoreline below the bluffs, near the motor cross track, have failed to move the giant carcass. But in the nearly seven weeks since the whale washed up it has deteriorated considerably. Bones are showing and the body appears […]

  • News

    Back on track: Alaska Military Youth Academy cadets celebrate graduation

    by Eric Ruble on Aug 26, 20:19

    For the last 22 weeks, Brandon Brown didn’t have access to his phone or the internet. At the Alaska Military Youth Academy, he was also cut off from his old way of life. “Before I came to the academy, I was kind of like your typical slacker,” said Brown. “This place really turned me around.” […]

  • Sports

    AFC fights to gain exposure through deal with UFC

    by Dave Goldman on Aug 26, 19:09

    This week the Alaska Fighting Championship (AFC) signed a deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for UFC to carry AFC matches on its “Fight Pass” platform digitally. AFC also sold its video library to UFC. “We’re really excited to make this deal with UFC, it was obviously a game changer for my career,” said AFC president Sarah Lorimer. So it […]

  • Weather

    Last 70-degree day of 2016? This weekend may be summer’s last hurrah.

    by Melissa Frey on Aug 26, 17:25

    The warmest weekend this month is underway across Southcentral Alaska. Many locations in the Matanuska-Susitna area and places across the Kenai Peninsula reached the mid-70s Friday. The high temperature in Anchorage will be flirting with 70 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. Mostly sunny skies and dry conditions are also expected across Southcentral. Anchorage typically records […]