Wiregrass War Veterans Head to D.C.

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

As war heroes from the greatest generation continue to age, the window of opportunity for them to see their monument continues to close.

But today, more than 90 area World War II vets got to experience their memorial, first-hand.

Through donations from the community, these brave men and women are able to make that journey to D.C., free of charge.

It's a journey to honor them for changing the course of history in World War II.

The United States of America; forged by freedom; protected by the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.

"I was on the move when I got over there...landed in Liverpool, England, went over to France, and up on through Germany,” said World War II veteran Robert Forrest.

Those men and women who call the wiregrass home, boarded a plane bound for the nation's capital.

“I want to see how much it's changed in the last 67 years,” said Forrest, a native of Donalsonville, Georgia.

91 war veterans headed to the Dothan Regional Airport just before 6 am Saturday morning.

It's a day trip, designed in their honor.

Robert and his brother Billy were soldiers in the U.S. Army in 1944 at the height of Hitler’s power.

Both brothers heeded the call of duty and decided to stand up against tyranny.

“My mother, she didn't like it but there was not much she could do, they told us to go and we went,” said Robert.

The brothers, barely old enough to vote and fighting in world war that spanned four continents spent almost a year and a half just 80 miles apart in Germany.

Something their mother, felt very close to home.

“She had our baby brother to kind of take over our place to hang in there until we did get back home,” said Billy.

But big brother Robert made a promise, saying mom, I’ll see you soon.

“I wrote her a letter back saying mama, I guarantee ya I can tell the difference, the war is over and we will be home,”

Robert and Billy Forrest: 2 soldiers among millions of others who've put their lives on the line, for old glory.

Each veteran is accompanied on the trip by a guardian.

The last honor flight back in may was a success.

90 World War II veterans made the trip then.

Another trip is being planned for next March.

The veterans will arrive back in Dothan Saturday night.

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  • by Jennifer Location: Florida on Sep 27, 2009 at 09:43 PM
    This is am amazing thing tha the community is doing for the WWII vets. My 89 year old grandfather and his brother were able to make this trip and I want to thank the each and every person that helped make this a reality for them. I know they have been talking about it for weeks and as his oldest grandchild, I can;t wait to get home to hear just how much they enjoyed their day together as brothers, and seeing these sites while being recognized as the war heros that we have all known them to be. Again I know my family thanks everyone who made this possible for these brave men and we hope you are able to continue these efforts until all our veterens know hoe very much they are appreciated by this great country. It is so important that we all remember that our freedom is not free and so many gave their lives, time, blood, and sweat to protect us then and today. Thank you all and thanks to the families and the supporters.
  • by Paula Location: Ozark on Sep 26, 2009 at 07:57 PM
    Thank you wiregrass citizens for making this trip possible for my father and many others. He had a wonderful day!
  • by Katherine Location: Maryland on Sep 26, 2009 at 06:16 PM
    Today, I had the honor of greeting these fine gentelmen as they de-boarded their airplane at BWI and escourt them to their buses that would take them into Washington D.C. to see their monument. I can not think of a better way to spend my Saturday morning then in an airport terminal shaking the hand of our Nation's finest Heros and thanking them for the sacrifices they made. I was touched beyond words when many of the Veteran's stopped to shake hands with not only me and every other person who came out to greet them, but to shake hands with my 2 1/2 year old son who was clapping and cheering. Many tears were shed by everyone but especially by me when one Veteran patted my son on the back and said to him "We did it for you son, we did it for you."
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