Oldest US Veteran visits Washington, DC

Emma "Big Mama" Didlake at 110 years old

Emma “Big Mama” Didlake at 110 years old

Emma Didlake, a US Army WW II veteran, paid a visit to Washington, DC last week. She was the latest US Veteran to be so honored by the Talons Out Honor Flight organization. Locals and tourists paid their respects and posed for photos as Ms Didlake greeted them at the National World War II memorial. Being the oldest US Veteran at 110 years old, Ms Didlake was treated to a visit to the White House where she was greeted by President Obama. More images can be vied here: http://opalminer.zenfolio.com/p758012531

Vintage Aircraft – Arsenal of Democracy Fly-in

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A P-51 getting ready to leave the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum. This plane as well as the following planes were participants of the Arsenal of Democracy fly over in Washington, DC.

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The day started out with lots of fog and very low cloud cover. The weather prevented the scheduled arrival of many of the planes.

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Finally the sky cleared enough for some of the aircraft to fly in from Manassas, VA. Their arrival resulted in cheers and applause from the spectators who had been waiting for hours.

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The event at the Udvar-Hazy center included the Air Force Airman of Note band, Gottaswing swing dancers, lots of WW II Veterans on Honor Flight trips, and vintage Jeeps.

Sharing the moment

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World War 2 veteran, Stan Pekol shares the sounds of the ’40s era. Stan was a participant on the Chicago Honor Flight on 06 June. While waiting for his return flight to Chicago, the GottaSwing dancers entertained the troops with swing music and dancing. The Honor Flight Network flies WW II veterans to Washington, DC to see their memorial at no charge to them. If you know a WW II veteran who hasn’t seen the memorial, contact https://www.facebook.com/HonorFlightNetwork.

Chicago WW II Veterans visit Washington, DC

I once again had the pleasure of participating on a Chicago Honor Flight. Honor Flight Chicago brings WW II veterans to Washington literally by the plane load. The most recent was May 10. On previous flights I participated as a Guardian. A Guardian spends the day assisting the veteran throughout the days activities. The day is spent visiting the WW II memorial, the Korea and Vietnam memorials and various other attractions depending on the weather and time alloted.

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For this flight I was a dedicated photographer. This allowed me to concentrate on getting pictures which more fully cover the days activities. As you can see, the weather was a bit damp. But this didn’t dampen any of the vets spirits.

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Due to heavy weather moving in, there was a quick change to Plan B, a visit to the Newseum. A short while later the rain has passed and we were back to visiting the monuments.

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Veterans Day in Washington

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That’s me on the left holding a Thank You card from the young man beside me. I was performing my duties as an Honor Flight guardian for a Kansas City Honor Flight. We were at the Korean War Memorial when this young man approached me. His dad told me he had been looking for a Coastie all day. The boy had made a thank you card for one member of each service for Veterans Day. He had given out each of his cards except for the Coast Guard one. We didn’t have any Coasties on this Honor Flight so I accepted the card. One look at his face and you can see he was truly happy to have performed his duty like so many others.