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Callaway veterans urge others to participate in Honor Flight

Flight attendants on the May 17 Honor Flight quickly whipped together a tiara and "cake" when they found out that it was veteran Lottie Bush's 87th birthday.

Flight attendants on the May 17 Honor Flight quickly whipped together a tiara and "cake" when they found out that it was veteran Lottie Bush's 87th birthday.

Central Missouri Honor Flight wants you!

Just like Uncle Sam in the old recruiting posters, organizers with Central Missouri Honor Flight are hoping to draw more of the area’s best and brightest to their cause.

Rather than trying to convince young men and women to serve their country, Honor Flight is trying to convince those who already served — members of “The Greatest Generation” as Tom Brokaw has dubbed them — to take advantage of the opportunity the organization offers them to visit the memorial constructed in their honor in Washington D.C.

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Callaway native Chris Binggeli served in the U.S. Army from 1942-45 in the 193rd Ordinance Co. Binggeli, who had the opportunity to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. as part of Central Missouri Honor Flight, said he would strongly encourage other veterans to participate in the program.

A non-profit organization, Central Missouri Honor Flight takes World War II, and now Korean War veterans, on 24-hour trips (at no cost to the veteran) to Washington D.C. to visit their memorial and other tourist attractions — including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery — before returning home to a hero’s welcome.

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Lottie Bush, a resident at Fulton Manor Care Center, served with the WAVES in Washington D.C. for four and a half years during World War II. Bush recently had the opportunity to return to Washington D.C. as part of a Central Missouri Honor Flight.

An Honor Flight press release states that, “according to the Veterans Administration, our country loses 1,000 WWII veterans a day — that’s 20 a day in Missouri.” As that population dwindles, Honor Flight officials want to make sure they reach all area veterans to extend the opportunity to make the trip to the World War II Memorial.

“It’s just a universal challenge (for us) to make sure World War II veterans are able to see the memorial,” said Shelley Becker, community relations chair for Central Missouri Honor Flight. “That’s our mission: To safely fly our veterans (to D.C.) and give them the honor and respect they deserve, and the homecoming some of them may not have gotten.”

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