Last Frontier Honor Flight continues after veteran passes away on plane

The Last Frontier Honor Flight has resumed
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A Last Frontier Honor Flight arrived in Washington D.C. with heavy hearts Thursday.

Veteran William Lawler passed away during the flight to the nation’s capital.

“As they exited him from the airplane, we saluted to give him honor because he’s a fallen comrade,” Vietnam era veteran Jon Boone said.

The plane continued on to the nations capital, where the veterans carried on their celebration in honor of Lawler. Some visited memorials they had waited half a century for.

“It’s been over 50 years, but this is the first time I’ve seen this memorial,” Korean War Veteran John Raetz said. “So it’s something to see and it’s appreciated.”

For some veterans, the Vietnam War Memorial is the single most important part of their trip to Washington. For others, it’s the one thing they can’t bring themselves to face.”

“I’ve been here five times, and I haven’t been able to go to that memorial by choice,” Vietnam War Veteran Peter Blackman said. “There’s 84 names on that wall that served with me. And they’re not here.”

The Last Frontier Honor Flight did not operate in 2020 or 2021 because of COVID-19 precautions. The trip has returned allowing veterans to honor their fallen brothers in arms with their comrades.

“It’s an unwritten brotherhood,” Vietnam era veteran Paul Scott said.

The group plans to return to Alaska Saturday night at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

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