Korean War Vets Honored on First ‘Valor Flight’

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2011 — More than 100 Kore­an War vet­er­ans from Alaba­ma trav­elled here on Vet­er­ans Day week­end to vis­it the Kore­an War Memo­r­i­al in the first trip of its kind.

Kore­an War vet­er­ans observe the chang­ing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Sol­dier at Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Nov. 12, 2011. The non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion Val­or Flight spon­sored the trip.
Cour­tesy pho­to
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The non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion Val­or Flight spon­sored the trip to grant the vet­er­ans’ wish­es to vis­it the memorial. 

This was the first trip that the orga­ni­za­tion has sponsored.

Dur­ing the day of hon­or and remem­brance, the vet­er­ans toured the Kore­an War Memo­r­i­al, the Tomb of the Unknown Sol­dier at Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery, the Iwo Jima Memo­r­i­al and oth­er famous sites. 

At the Iwo Jima Memo­r­i­al, Navy Cmdr. John O’Brien, mem­ber of the Depart­ment of Defense 60th Anniver­sary of the Kore­an War Com­mem­o­ra­tion Com­mit­tee, award­ed each of the vet­er­ans with a cer­tifi­cate of appre­ci­a­tion signed by Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta in hon­or of their ser­vice dur­ing the Kore­an War. 

“Your coun­try has not for­got­ten your sac­ri­fice. Your utter self­less­ness has made pos­si­ble the free­dom and pros­per­i­ty we enjoy today,” O’Brien said. 

The Val­or Flight pro­gram is mod­eled on the Hon­or Flight pro­gram that takes World War II vet­er­ans on day-long trips to the nation’s cap­i­tal. Val­or Flight Pres­i­dent Steve Celuch hopes to con­duct anoth­er trip next spring. 

“For our Kore­an War vet­er­ans, the men and women who served, it is crit­i­cal that their sac­ri­fices are not for­got­ten. This flight is one small way for us to say ‘thank you’ for their enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion,” Celuch said. 

The orga­ni­za­tion, which is based in Madi­son, Ala., seeks to rec­og­nize Kore­an War vet­er­ans for their ser­vice to the nation. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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