WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s a Midwest Honor Flight first to have twin veterans on a mission, and on Mission 10, they managed to have two units!
The Damstras and the Beitelspachers, from Iowa, all served in Vietnam.
“We had the identical draft date again during the Vietnam time,” says Ronald Damstra, U.S. Army, Vietnam. “I used to be going to school and took a deferment. And brother Don, he left for the navy on our draft date, and he went to school at USD in Vermillion for 4 years after the navy on the GI Bill.”
While the Damstras didn’t serve on the identical time, the Beitelspachers did.
“We each went on the identical time, and there have been two units of brothers after we went,” says Dean Beitelspacher, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam. “We have been over there one yr.
I used to be on the sheet steel with him. We’d by no means run normally the identical shift; I’d run the graveyard shift and he had the swing shift.”
The Damstras have been to D.C. earlier than, however say going with Honor Flight is a unique experience.
“Maybe the camaraderie; being with different vets, with all of the branches of service and to see all of the memorials positioned there in Washington, D.C. with fellow guys, that’s going to be so particular, and with my son, so there’s loads of that means,” Ronald provides.
For the Beitelspachers, it’s the primary time – and it comes with a possibility to honor buddies misplaced.
“The wall, I wish to see the wall,” Dean says.
Reporter: “Is there any explicit names you’re on the lookout for?”
“Yea, we’d prefer to…We misplaced a pilot; he ejected out of the plane and his parachute didn’t open, so I’m gonna look that identify up.”
Donald even not too long ago made the journey again to Vietnam.
“We all went again to the place we had served again 57 years earlier, and we didn’t acknowledge something,” Donald Damstra says. “The panorama modified dramatically from what I used to be again within the Sixties and 70s. It was an amazing journey.”
They additionally gave just a little recommendation for the youthful technology.
Gene Beitelspacher, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam, says, “It’s only a good experience, I imply, to do this. And you may have respect on your elders.”
Stay tuned all week on NewsCenter1 and ConnectCenter1 for in-depth tales from Midwest Honor Flight’s Mission 10!
Midwest Honor Flight is a hub of the Honor Flight Network. It’s a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) group that takes veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials devoted to their service. The journey is supplied totally free-of-charge to the veterans.
CLICK HERE for extra info on Midwest Honor Flight, together with apply for a visit and knowledge on donations.