The Norman Transcript


June 15, 2014

Oklahoma Honor Flights take veterans to Washington D.C.

NORMAN — Aged hands that had once painted the sides of the USS Dempsey fumbled with a bronze coin. With an air plane and the words “Oklahoma Honor Flight” etched into one side, this coin was just one of the many memories collected on a day trip to Washington D.C.

These hands belong to Navy Veteran Harold Gill, one of the 81 veterans that flew to D.C. as a participant in the Oklahoma Honor Flight, and one of the six on that flight from Norman. A trip specially catered to World War II veterans, Gill said it was one he wouldn’t soon forget.

The program began as a hub off of the original Honor Flight Network, State Representative Gary Banz, R- Midwest City, said. Banz, co-founder and executive director of OHF has been on all 17 flights organized by the Oklahoma hub, since the inaugural flight in May of 2010.

Among the veterans on the June 4th flight sat Gill and his granddaughter, Teresa Whited. All veterans travel with a guardian, and with Whited’s medical experience as a nurse practitioner, she felt she would do well with Gill and other veterans on the trip.

From the Arlington National Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial, the day trip to D.C. makes for a tightly packed schedule, Whited said.

But the busy trip allows veterans to see the very memorials that have been dedicated in their honor — something Gill said made this trip a very special one.

“It shows veterans what the community has done to remember them,” Gill said. “Seeing all of that was really something else.”

Gill said the memorial that stuck out to him the most was the the World War II Memorial, one that reflected his own experiences in the Navy. After enlisting in 1943, Gill spent 24 years of active duty service in the Navy before retiring to civilian service at Tinker Air Force Base for 32 years. During his time in the Navy, Gill ventured across the South Pacific in the U.S.S. Dempsey, an Evarts-class destroyer escort, and the U.S.S. Dixie, an auxiliary cruiser.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014