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In Visit To D.C., WWII Vets Will Also Revisit Memories


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Bianca
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« on: May 10, 2009, 11:30:48 am »



Now 82, Oma Arnold says she lied about her age in order to enlist in the
Women’s Army Corps during World War II.









                                  In visit to D.C., WWII vets will also revisit memories



                       Montgomery County group hosts second annual flight to see Memorial






By JEANNIE KEVER
The Houston Chronicle
May 9, 2009
WASHINGTON

— It was more than 60 years in coming, but Jim Dowell finally got his thanks.

Not that he or other World War II veterans ever asked for any.

“I never thought of it as more than we were supposed to do,” Dowell said of his service as a nose gunner in the Army Air Corps.

But on Saturday, he and 110 other veterans were honored for their service, flown to Washington, D.C., to visit the WW II memorial, which opened just five years ago.

Dowell, 83, who lives in The Woodlands, knew he would be thinking about his twin brother, Edward, who was killed in action just months after their 19th birthday.

For all of them, it was a chance to connect with others who had shared a defining experience.

“This is a great bunch of guys,” said Harry Allton, 87, of Houston, who served from 1941 to 1945.

Not all of them were guys, however.

Anne Watt, 86, of April Sound in Montgomery County, was an Army nurse. She hoped to catch a glimpse of the monument honoring women who served in the military.

Saturday’s trip was the second for Lone Star Honor Flight, started by Montgomery Junior High School history teacher Brenda Beaven almost two years ago.

It and other chapters around the country send military veterans to Washington to visit the war monuments.

But as the veterans of World War II grow older — most are in their 80s or 90s, and their ranks grow thinner every day — trips to their memorial have taken on a new urgency.

It’s expensive, Beaven said, adding that Saturday’s trip cost more than $110,000, all raised by donations.

The gratitude was free.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 12:04:52 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 11:38:11 am »










A common purpose



A flag-bearing honor guard greeted the veterans at a Conroe parking lot when they met at 4 a.m.

A steak dinner awaited them on the flight home. At every stop, bystanders stood and applauded.

“It means so much to them,” said 15-year-old Kathryn Yarbarough, who helped raise money.

World War II was in many ways the defining experience of 20th-century America, sandwiched between the Great Depression and the postwar economic boom.

It was a time of common purpose, from the soldiers storming Europe to the women who kept factories running back home.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 12:00:25 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 11:39:42 am »



Johnny Hanson:
Chronicle

WWll veterans, George Orena, 90, and Marcos Barelas, 86 share a laugh in a shopping center parking lot in Conroe before departing for the airport to go on a Lone Star Honor Flight honoring more than 100 WWll veterans.









Plenty to talk about



Once back from the war, most quietly went about their lives. Now, though, as age takes its toll, more are interested in telling their stories.

“It’s just a history lesson here,” said Sandra Chapman of Richardson as she accompanied her father, Jim Dacus, who turned 86 Saturday.

Dacus was one of several who made the tour in wheelchairs, while others depended upon canes and walkers to steady their steps.

But few wasted time talking about their health problems. Instead, they talked about the Boeing 757 jetliner that took them to Dulles International Airport and how much bigger it was than the B-14 bombers that had seemed so huge to them during the war.

They talked also of careers and retirements, and of sons killed in Iraq.

Oma Arnold said she lied about her age to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps. Now, at age 82, the former Wac is commander of American Legion Post 134 in Crockett.

Her decision to make the trip to D.C. was easy.

“The same reason I went in the Army,” Arnold said. “The flag means a lot. The people mean a lot.”



jeannie.kever@chron.com

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/6416787.html
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 12:01:14 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 11:53:12 am »



M.C. Tyer, who is celebrating his 98th birthday today and who served in the Army during WWll, is greeted at Dulles International Airport.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 11:55:45 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 12:07:36 pm »

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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 12:09:31 pm »

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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 12:11:35 pm »

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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2009, 12:13:48 pm »

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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2009, 12:18:14 pm »

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