First Brigade Honors Veterans with Flights to Washington
01/28/2018 | By Sgt. 1st Class Randall Reinink
Staff Sgt. Justin Morris, Bravo Company, 1/334th, wheels a war veteran into the airport to check in for his Stars and Stripes Honor Flight at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee on Oct. 14. US Army Photo by Dianne Cooke
Veterans, volunteers and Service Members came together in Milwaukee on a rainy Saturday morning in October for the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.
Sgt. Nick Gaulke, Bravo Company 1/334, solicited Soldiers from his reserve unit to assist veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
“My grandfather flew (on the Honor Flight) in 2012 and he thought it was the greatest thing that ever happened to him,” said Gaulke. “One of the Board members asked me to help and I have been doing it ever since.”
Gaulke’s grandfather served on a mine sweeper off the coast of Japan during World War II. After a September Battle Assembly, reserve duty weekend, Gaulke solicited help from his fellow Soldiers and half a dozen responded to the call.
Staff Sgt. Justin Morris commented, “Many of our veterans finally get the welcome home and hand shake they deserve for what they have seen and done for this country.”
The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is a nonprofit that arranges flights for World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans to visit Washington for the day. Veterans and their guardians are given guided tours of the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam Veterans memorials. Each trip typically includes a stop at the Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. Past Stars and Stripes Honor Flights have included stops at the Lincoln Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, and the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.
|Sgt. 1st Class Randall Reinink, Bravo Company, 1/334th, trades war stories with a Korean War veteran at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee on Oct. 14 during the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. US Army Photo by Dianne Cooke
||Soldiers from Bravo Company, 1/334th sendoff war veterans on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight with a salute on the Mitchell Airport tarmac in Milwaukee on Oct. 14. US Army Photo by Dianne Cooke
Gualke and his fellow reserve Soldiers in uniform greeted the aging veterans at curbside and guided them upstairs to the check-in desk. Once the veterans were beyond security, the Soldiers loaded the veterans’ wheelchairs on the aircraft and then sent them off with a salute on the tarmac. Two Delta Airlines aircraft carried all 150 Veterans and Guardians to and from Washington, D.C. for their tour.
|Sgt. Nick Gaulke, Bravo Company, 1/334th, and Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Guardian escort two Vets to the elevator to join others flight check-in at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee on Oct. 14. US Army Photo by Dianne Cooke
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