[The Brazil Times nameplate] Light Rain Fog/Mist ~ 53°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 48°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

'Honor Flight'

Sunday, July 25, 2010

(Photo)
Harold Plunkett [Order this photo]
* Plunkett visits capital through program

Harold Plunkett knows time is precious.

The 88-year-old Brazil native had never visited the World War II memorial site in Washington, D.C.

(Photo)
Former Air Force Staff Sgt. Harold Plunkett (right) recently visited the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.
Plunkett served his country in World War II in the Air Force as a Ball Turret Gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress. He flew 56 missions and earned the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Thanks to the program Honor Flight, Plunkett made the trek to the nation's capitol earlier this month.

"I know I would have never seen it," Plunkett told The Brazil Times. "If it hadn't been for this program, I'd have never gone. I couldn't afford it."

Plunkett was one of 25 World War II veterans who traveled to Washington, D.C., July 9-11, to see the memorial in addition to other sites.

According to Plunkett, Honor Flight began in 2004 when a man from Columbus, Ohio, who owned a smaller airplane, flew to Washington, D.C., to see the museum.

"He felt in his heart that every World War II veteran should see it, if they so desired," Plunkett said.

Plunkett said the man, Earl Morse, a retired Air Force Captain, took it upon himself to set up a network to help veterans travel to the capitol to see the site.

Through one flight, Morse met a woman who was burying her son at Arlington National Cemetery. She provided a donation to help transport veterans to the site.

Just a few years ago, Plunkett said Southwest Airlines also agreed to fly World War II veterans through the organization to the capitol free of charge in order to see the site.

Plunkett said in 2005, he received notification through the mail about the program. He immediately filled out the application.

"It was five years before they got to my name," Plunkett said.

Veterans who make the trip are required to take a guardian with them. Plunkett brought his grandson, Jordan Brown.

All veterans taking advantage of the opportunity receive free accommodations while in Washington, D.C. The guardians have to pay $350 for transportation, lodging, food and more.

While there, Plunkett said he also had the chance to visit the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Air Force Museum, the Naval Museum and the Pentagon, among other sites.

He also had an opportunity to see the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

"That's something everybody ought to see," Plunkett said. "The Sergeant comes out and says, 'We will have total silence.' And he got it, but the birds just kept on singing."

While there, Plunkett said the Daughters of the American Revolution organization also conducted a conference.

He said six women from the organization offered hugs and kisses to each of the 25 World War II veterans on the trip.

"That was a highlight," Plunkett said.

He also took a book of photographs he took himself during World War II.

"They all flocked around to see my pictures," Plunkett said.

He added all veterans should take advantage of the opportunity to see the memorials.

"It was wonderful," he said. "I can't explain it. It was just a wonderful trip."

Veterans interested in taking the trip should log on to www.honorflight.org. From there, click on the application link, or contact Clay County Veterans Affairs Officer Mike Holland at 448-9015, Monday-Wednesday.


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Jason,

not to correct spelling, but it's ball turret gunner. Which was located on the bottom of the aircraft. While I'm sure some people know this it was one of the most dangerous positions on the B-17.

I encourage everyone to visit Washington D.C at least once and see the memorials that honor the brave men and women that have defended this country.

Thank you for your service Mr. Plunkett.

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Sun, Jul 25, 2010, at 9:02 PM

I so wish my dad could've seen that memorial. He didn't get to. He's 92 and in a nursing home and by the time the WWII Memorial was constructed, it was just too late.

Glad Mr. Plunkett got to go!

-- Posted by CountryandCityMouse on Sun, Jul 25, 2010, at 11:10 PM

Cecil Shobe who served in the Navy during World War II recently took this flight.

-- Posted by grays on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 3:11 AM

Wonderful story!!

-- Posted by brazilbooster on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 4:57 AM

Thank you Mr. Plunkett for your service to our great country! So glad you got to see the memorial and all the other sites. thank you to all of those who have served our country, past, present and future!!

-- Posted by millertime on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 7:55 AM

It's so wonderful they do this for these honorable men.

-- Posted by localgal on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 9:33 AM

We are so glad you got to go and see all the wonderful sites in DC. What a way to be honored for your service to our country. Thanks patinfla

-- Posted by patinfla on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 4:46 PM

Congratulations Mr. Plunkett and THANK YOU for your service to our great nation! We can't do enough for you and the rest of our service men and women.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 11:49 AM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: