The Norman Transcript

Features

October 20, 2013

Area veterans take Honor Flight to Washington

NORMAN — Oklahoma City resident Lynn Hall, at 90, has put the “S” in spry. And the “P-R-Y,” as well.

He walks two miles a day, eschews any offer of a ride in a wheelchair and makes anyone around him giggle when he talks.

“I told them I wasn’t coming on this trip unless I got a pretty guardian,” Hall said Tuesday, when he joined 81 other World War II veterans on the15th Oklahoma Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

“They listened.”

Trudi Terry, who did not know Hall before Monday, giggled in her seat.

“They looked at my military papers and decided I should have a fifth-grade teacher,” Hall said.

Terry said getting to know Hall was like “raising two teenagers.” She should know; she’s in her 29th year as an elementary teacher.

“It’s like match-dot-com,” Terry said, eyes rolling. “I’ve already had so much fun, and the plane hasn’t even taken off.”

That was before 7:30 a.m. Roughly six hours later, the two were in a more somber mood.

One hundred seventy-two passengers boarded the Oklahoma Honor Flight on Miami Air, a carrier used strictly for charter flights. Those on board — veterans, their guardians and a handful of others — landed at 11:04 a.m. in Baltimore, Md., where they were greeted with a salute of water cannons on the tarmac and glad tidings from Honor Flights Network volunteers in the terminal.

The group piled into three buses and were escorted by Freedom Fighters to the World War II Memorial.

Volunteer escorts and barricades marking memorials “closed” were only slight inconveniences created by the federal government shutdown for the touring group from Oklahoma. Buses drove around barricades for a “windshield” tour of the Iwo Jima Memorial.

Wheelchairs filled with veterans did the same thing at the World War II Memorial, which opened in 2004.

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