Vietnam veteran praises Honor Flight for making her feel appreciated
The Last Frontier Honor Flight has been honoring Alaskan veterans' service for years, including those whose roles involved supporting their front-line comrades.
Vietnam veteran Dorothy Dittman served as a legal clerk toward the end of the Vietnam War. While at Fort Campbell in Kentucky she says she helped troops, who were being sent into "hot zones" of Vietnam, fill out wills before they left.
Dittman didn't feel her work was worthy of an Honor Flight trip, which takes veterans to war memorials in the nation's capital free of charge.
"I'm just a little one, compared to the guys that were hurt; you know, put their life on the line," said Dittman, who lives in the Pioneer Home in Palmer. "They really deserve going on the Honor Flight."
Dittman took the trip to Washington D.C. in 2018 thanks to Last Frontier Honor Flight, a non-profit group that relies on donations.
She says the show of gratitude during the trip, and support from people back home, made her realize that her service did matter. Since her return, she has been working on a journal of her trip, which includes letters from Alaska schoolchildren.
"Thank you for your time and commitment keeping our country safe. Because you served I can go to any parks. I am so thankful I get to go outside safely. I hope you have an amazing time in Washington, D.C. You deserve it. Love, Adrian, second grade," Dittman read from one letter.
"Well, I just took all of this for granted," Dittman said. "They really take it serious. They're little kids."
Last Frontier Honor Flight co-founder Ron Travis says he often hears from veterans often who don't think they're deserving of going on an honor flight. He asks if they signed up to serve, and if they would have done what they were asked.
Travis says he always hears "yes" to both questions, and says that is good enough to go on a Last Frontier Honor Flight trip.
Travis and his wife Lynda will no longer take an active role in organizing the trips. Others are now taking over, but the couple will remain on the Last Frontier Honor Flight board.
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