Last Frontier Honor Flight braves elements during D.C. trip

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 3:56 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Nearly two dozen Alaska veterans were in the nation’s capital Thursday visiting memorials. Braving the rain, it was a day of reflection for the veterans, most seeing memorials for wars they fought in for the first time.

“I almost cried just seeing the whole thing. I’m sorry. Just to think about what we really sacrificed over there for those people,” said Lonnie Dunkin, a Korean War veteran who lives in Ketchikan, Alaska.

An officer in Incheon, South Korea for two years, the memories flowed back for Dunkin. He thinks about his efforts in Korea and those of his fellow soldiers as he looked at the memorial that bears the names of those who died.

“It was us doing something for somebody else. We felt good about it while we were over there,” said Dunkin.

They called it “Mission 15″ for the Last Frontier Honor Flight - the 15th time Alaska veterans traveled in a group to see the memorials erected in their honor.

“It’s brilliant. Anybody who put this together knew what they were doing,” said Orville Baker from Palmer, Alaska.

Baker served as a medic toward the end of the Korean War. He said the rainy D.C. day reminded him of being in Korea - cold and wet. Baker remembered taking care of a lot of wounded people, both soldiers and civilians.

He was one of two Korean War veterans on the trip, 21 veterans total made the journey. And Baker was happy to be in their company.

“It’s great. It’s nice, they’re friendly, it’s fun to talk to them because we all have something in common,” said Baker.

The Last Frontier Honor Flight returns to Anchorage Saturday morning.