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.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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