Clare County Veterans Services Director Karl Hauser recently traveled to Washington, D.C. as part of the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight/Talons Out Honor Flight which specifically included Vietnam Veterans, including a Medal of Honor recipient. Hauser attended as a designated “Guardian” or escort for Army veteran Albert Selensky of Coleman.
The flight departed Kalamazoo in the early hours of June 18 and returned late that evening after an exciting day touring memorials in the United States Capitol. Stops included the Marine Corps Memorial, Air Force Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknowns. After watching the Changing of the Guard and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb acknowledging the Honor Flight participants, the group continued on to the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.
After the Pentagon visit, the group crossed the Potomac River into the Capitol to visit the World War II and Lincoln memorials. The veterans and their guardians then proceeded to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, where the veterans had the opportunity to search for the names of fallen comrades or friends killed in Vietnam.
Immediately following, during a ceremony held at the Three Soldiers’ Statue, each Veteran received a Vietnam commemorative pin, presented by their designated guardians. The final stops on the tour included the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. memorials.
The flight returned to Kalamazoo where an enthusiastic crowd awaited the veterans’ arrival. Veterans were warmly greeted with music, handshakes and “thank-yous” from the crowd to welcome them home. Each veteran received commemorative gifts and photos from their memorable day.
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