96-year-old WWII veteran among Honor Flight service members
Veterans from around Alaska gathered at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Tuesday morning, before their big send-off for the Last Frontier Honor Flight.
Among them, 96-year-old Army veteran Jennie Collier, the oldest World War II veteran on the trip.
“She joined the Women's Army Corps. She was stationed in San Francisco in WWII and she processed service records for men going overseas and coming back,” her son Robert Posey explained.
Posey served in the Navy in Vietnam and is happy to accompany his mother to the nation’s capital.
“This is something I've wanted to do for a number of years," Posey said. "When they first started talking about building a monument for WWII veterans. She always talked about wanting to go there so I'm glad she gets to see it."
The Last Frontier Honor Flight program began in Alaska in January 2013. It provides a free trip to Washington, D.C. for veterans to tour the different war memorials.
To date, they’ve taken 125 WWII veterans and more than 100 Korean War Veterans to the Capital.
Vietnam veterans, like 82-year-old Kenneth Hinkle, are now making the trip too.
"It's such an honor, I can't believe it,” he said, tearing up. “We've been in Washington, D.C. before but it was a long time ago and it was before any of the war memorials were built so we're really looking forward to seeing those.”
Co-founder Ron Travis said it’s that kind of gratitude that makes all the planning and logistics worth it.
“When one of them comes up to me with tears in their eyes and says thank you, the bills are paid,” he said.
The veterans will return home on Saturday, Oct. 14 around 11 a.m. at the Anchorage Airport.