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“It was wonderful, amazing,” said World War II U.S. Navy veteran Harry Hudgin, after returning Sept. 21 from the Touchstone Energy Honor Flight. “I just really appreciate Nolin RECC for the trip and for all this recognition.”
The Rineyville resident and Nolin RECC member was selected to join about 25 other World War II veterans on the Touchstone Energy Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. This marks the third year for the trip, which is sponsored by Nolin RECC and Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives.
The one-day tour included a visit to the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Iwo Jima Monument.
Upon arrival at Baltimore International Airport, the veterans received a heroes’ welcome from a crowd of well-wishers, including cadets from the U.S. Naval Academy. The veterans traveled from Baltimore to Washington aboard a chartered bus, while a police escort cleared the way through heavy traffic and took them to the World War II Memorial.
Hundreds of family, co-op employees and patriotic Americans waved flags and greeted the veterans after they landed in Louisville.
“This is one of the most rewarding programs we offer our members,” said Nolin RECC Communications Manager Patsy Whitehead. “We do a lot of good things in our community, but the Honor Flight definitely ranks as one of the best. Nolin hopes to continue sending veterans on the Touchstone Energy Honor Flight for many years to come – it’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all our armed forces.”
The Honor Flight is part of a larger national network that has 127 hubs, or chapters, in 41 states. The inaugural Honor Flight took place in May 2005, when six small planes flew out of Springfield, Ohio, taking 12 veterans.