Nearly 100 Wisconsin Vietnam veterans take honor flight

WASHINGTON  (Gray DC) -- More than 100 Wisconsin veterans took a free trip to Washington, and had a chance to see several memorials and monuments.
 
Vietnam veteran, David Schug, said, “The Vietnam wall was probably one of my more important ones.”
 
Visiting the Vietnam Memorial on Monday brought back tough memories for the Auburndale, Wisconsin resident.

There are more than 58,000 names on Vietnam Memorial wall. Names of U-S service members who died in combat.
 
Schug said, “There were people on there that I know, people I went to school with.”
 
Schug was one of the 98 Vietnam veterans on Wisconsin's Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Organizers hope a day like Monday can do something to make up for the pain Vietnam veterans felt when they returned from war.
 
The organizations president on co-founder, Mike Thompson, said, “The [Vietnam veterans] were not only welcomed home, but they were derided, spat upon, and called names. It just wasn’t fair at all.”
 
That was decades ago, but Schug says he’s noticing a problem now-- he says fewer people are making the effort to go up and shake a veteran’s hand.
 
Schug said, “Your older ones, they’ll come up to a veteran and they’ll say thank you, you know, for serving. But you don’t see that with the young ones anymore because they take it for granted I guess you’d say.”
 
Never Forgotten Honor Flight started more than eight years ago.
That flight had more than 100 World War II veterans, this flight had just two.
 
Thompson said, “The demographics are changing because the Korean War and World War II vets, they’re kind of in their last chapter here.”
 
Because of that, organizers say they’re doing all they can to give veterans the trip of a lifetime.
 
Schug said of the trip, “Very worthwhile thing. I think something that all veterans should be able to get to see it one time or another.”
  
Organizers will now start finding the next round of Wisconsin veterans to bring out here to Washington.
The next never forgotten honor flight will happen next spring.

Veterans are able to take honor flights at no cost to the veteran.



 
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