Honor Flight: Two Fayette veterans take trip to D.C. 2013.06.05

Written by David Green.

By BARBARA HOLLSTEIN

honor.boysOne of them was there for the start of the Korean War; the other arrived for the ending. Together they went to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorial created in honor of their service.

Jim Bacon and Earl Ferguson, Korean War veterans from Fayette, joined others from Northwest Ohio May 22 for an Honor Flight trip. 

The Honor Flight program is a non-profit organization that flies veterans to the nation’s capital to see the war monuments and other sites, all free of charge.

Since the flights started in 2005, first priority was given to World War II veterans. Now in its ninth year, the program is including veterans of other wars. Honor Flight's goal is to eventually provide the opportunity for veterans of all wars to visit Washington.

Earl and Jim said they recognized a few of the others vets on the trip, including one that Earl hadn't spoken with since the 1970s. 

honor.jimWhile they had plane delays both coming and going from Toledo to D.C., once they arrived, the trip went well. They do a “terrific job of organizing,” Jim said about the program staff. 

Both men were impressed with the memorials, and the Korean War Monument in particular. Statues of soldiers are sculpted with "lifelike features." 

School groups visiting the war memorials were excited to meet the Honor Flight veterans, and Earl and Jim were asked by several individuals to have a photo taken with them.

The long day wrapped up back at Toledo Express Airport where a welcome party made up of well-wishers and a band met the travelers.

While Earl hadn't flown in a plane since 1985, flying is something that Jim is very familiar with, as his service in the Korean War was with the Air Force.

Jim joined the Air Force at the start of the war, serving from 1951 to 1952, right after he graduated from high school in Fayette. Jim flew reconnoissance flights to study damage following military action.

honor.earlLooking back, Jim said he sometimes wishes he had made a career out of the military.  

While Jim entered the service at the start of the war, Earl came in at the end. He served right after graduation from high school as well, from 1957 to 1958 in the Army. Earl was stationed in the port city of Inchon "where everyone came in off the ship." His job was to make sure a variety of supplies were distributed to soldiers.

Before last month, neither Jim nor Earl had seen the Korean monument dedicated to their service. One more plane load of veterans has now made the trip to visit the monuments constructed in their honor.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016