A sending ceremony was held Wednesday afternoon at the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington for 24 veterans and their escorts participating in the third Dawson County Hero Flight to Washington D.C. Max McFarland chairs the volunteer Hero Flight Committee. He says their missions is simple: “to recognize and honor our veterans who have sacrificed so much and given service above self” and to honor them by taking them on a trip to Washington, D.C. to be able to visit their memorials.
Veterans on the Hero Flight are:
Cozad – Charles Bean, Peter Seberger, Delbert Brock, Walt Snyder, Wendell Lawhead, Chauncey Bates and Robert Richards.
Gothenburg – Dale Block
Johnson Lake – Mel Divas
Lexington – Deb Brock, Bob Hagan, Sidney Andersen, Eldon Wheeler, Don Mins, Charles Hueftle, Bob Anderson, Dale Biehl, Terry Geiser, Don Cloyd and Ken Graus.
Overton – Rodney Swanson and Tony Hoos
Sumner – Richard Ibach
Stratton – Art Hawkinson
Their itinerary includes stops at memorials for World War II, Korean and Vietnam wars, Arlington National Cemetery, The Smithsonian and “then we always have a couple of surprises we hold for the Veterans that we announce once we get there”, according to McFarland. The group flew out of Omaha Thursday and will return Saturday night.
Lunch was provided by the local Wounded Warriors Project. It was prepared by Around the Block Catering and served by the Bonneville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Dick Pierce briefly discussed the Nebraska Veterans First project and the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home. McFarland offered best wishes on behalf of Sen. Matt Williams. Members of the Horseshoe Bend 4-H Club created bags for the Veterans to use on their trip and handed them out to them. Dawson County Veterans Service Officer Steve Zerr to a moment to remember three crew members of previous Hero Flights who had passed. The fourth Dawson County Hero Flight was announced and is being planned for this Fall. Contributions to the Dawson County Hero Flight can be submitted through the Lexington Community Foundation.
The Hero Flight bus was escorted out of town by representatives of the Patriot Guard Riders, Lexington Police Department, Lexington Volunteer Fire Department and Dawson County Sheriff’s Office. Small American flags were distributed by members of the D.A.R.