WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLUC) - Many veterans who attend a U.P. Honor Flight feel that the ability to share their experience with a loved ones is one of the highlights of the trip. For one woman who went along as a guardian on the recent U.P. Honor Flight, it may have felt more like a reunion.
The World War II Memorial was the first stop for the veterans on U.P. Honor Flight XIII. Located on the National Mall, between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, the memorial consists of 56 pillars and two arches surrounding a fountain.
The memorial was dedicated in 2004 and was the site of the group photo for the Honor Flight.
But this flight marked a change from ones in the past, with only four of the 73 vets on the flight serving in WWII. The majority of the flight was made up of Vietnam-era vets. That just added importance to the journey for one of those four WWII vets.
Army veteran Earl Sovey made the trip with his daughter. Sovey served in the Pacific Theater during the war and had the distinction of standing guard over the Enola Gay.
“He never though he would be able to do it. He was afraid to fly and we asked him for years and that's why we took the family trip and we finally talked him into doing it and he acted like it was no big deal today,” Sovey’s daughter Rebecca Anderson said.
But, while bringing her father to Washington was a priority, Anderson’s trip to Washington was a family affair.
“Russell Hardwick is my brother-in-law and he’s actually my godfather and he’s here and he's a Vietnam vet and I also have my father-in-law, Louis Anderson and he's also a Vietnam vet. So my father, my father-in-law and my godfather,” Anderson said.
While Sovey had been to Washington before, Anderson said that visiting with fellow veterans was a completely different experience for him and his family.
“It’s such an honor to be able to be the one to bring him and let him experience that,” Anderson said. “We had a family trip about 12 years ago, so he did get to come once before, but to do this with the vets is just an amazing experience.”