Nevada Veterans Reflect on Vietnam and Korea
While most of the veterans who went on Nevada's first Honor Flight were from the World War II era, they spent time reflecting on the wars in Korea and Vietnam as well.
The Vietnam War Memorial Wall has 58,195 names engraved into it. And every one of them has a story behind it. Beatrice Thayer, who served in the Army Air Corps, and her brother William Coffey, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, are both from the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. So was John Aleck.
"There it is," Thayer said when she found it on the panel. "He was the son of a good friend of ours at the colony. She was a lady who also served. She died about two years ago herself."
Thayer went on to say that John Aleck died at the age of 20 in Vietnam in 1969.
The Korean War Memorial is made up of sculptures of soldiers making their way through a field of vegetation. It is realistic and - haunting.
"It's eerie," said Paul Weller who served in the Marine Corps in 1950 and 1951. "It brings back so many memories. I can hear the machine guns and see the flashes. You never forget that . Even after the flashes are over you see them all coming toward you. It sticks with you forever."
Thousands of tourists from all over the world stream through the memorials in Washington every day to pay their respects. This was a chance for Nevada's Veterans to be thanked and strangers stopped everywhere we went to thank them in person.
"Do you see all the people here for you?" said John Yuspa who organized Honor Flight in Nevada.
"It shows you...that freedom isn't free," said Weller. "Freedom is never free."
Honor Flight takes the veterans free of charge. That program is run by volunteers. You can volunteer, donate and apply at www.honorflightnv.org
Written by Erin Breen