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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Local WWII vets fly to D.C.

  • Next week, three Sumner County World War II veterans will be Washington D.C. bound as they make their way to the World War II Memorial as part of Honor Flight.


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  •    Next week, three Sumner County World War II veterans will be Washington D.C. bound as they make their way to the World War II Memorial as part of Honor Flight.
        Conway Springs residents Henry Light and Eldon Raines, as well as Wellington resident Warren Rohrer will get the chance to see the memorial for free, Wednesday.
        Kansas Honor Flight is flying over 350 veterans and their guardians to the World War II Memorial as well as other museums and landmarks as a way to honor them for their service to the Country.
        Veterans receive “red carpet” treatment with a banquet to honor their service as well as being welcomed by former Senator and World War II veteran from?Kansas, Robert Dole, Congressman Jerry Moran and other dignitaries, visit a dozen memorials, and watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown.
        Raines served in the Navy for three years, traveling along the west coast and into the South Pacific. He started on a carrier but ended on an amphibious.
        The Conway?Springs man hasn’t been to Washington D.C. since President Lyndon Johnson was in office and is excited to see the sights.
        “I’m looking forward to going.?I understand there are a few museums up there to see,” Raines said.
        Rohrer served as an Assistant Engineer Gunner on a B-24, flying 30 missions for the U.S. Army Air Force serving with the 8th Air Force, 44th Bomb Group, 507th Squadron, stationed in Shiphdam, England.
        Rohrer, as well as Raines saw their share of action.
        “I was in combat. I got shot at,” said Rohrer, who served for a year in the Air Force. “We were lucky nobody was hurt,”
        The Wellington man remembers freezing in the 50 below temperatures while wearing electric suits and gloves. He even suffered frost bite from the cold.
        “You had to wear a lot of clothes,” he said.
        The trip to Washington D. C. is being covered completely by Honor Flight and includes all extra fees including airfare, lodging, a special t-shirt, cap, and memory book.
        Local residents are encouraged to come to the airport to honor and cheer on their veterans. Honor Flight veterans will leave on Flight No.  14, at 6:55 a.m., Wednesday, April 20th at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport and will return to the same location at approximately 6:59 p.m., Thursday, April 21.
        Central Prairie Honor Flight is continually in fundrasing mode, working to raise money for future flights. Time is of the essence with over 1,200 World War II veterans dying daily, the organization reports.
        There are several ways you can help Central Prairie Honor Flights fly Kansas Veterans to Washington, D.C.  You can make a donation to “Central Prairie RC&D Honor Flights” at 1817 16th St., Great Bend KS 67530 or volunteer to become a guardian.
    Page 2 of 2 -     For more information or a list of your local veterans, contact us by phone (620) 792-6224, or email LaVeta, Chairman/Council Secretary at laveta.miller@ks.usda.gov or check the website at www.centralprairiehonorflights.org.
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