Couple encourages other veterans to take Honor Flight

| October 16, 2015

COSHOCTON – The Honor Flight was an unforgettable experience for Terry and Doris Casey.

“Anybody who can go should go,” Terry said. “It’s the trip of a lifetime because of the way people treat you. Strangers give up their whole day to be there for those who were in the service.”

Honor Flight Columbus flies World War II and Korean War veterans for free to Washington, D.C. for the day to visit memorials dedicated to their service and others as time allows.

Terry, who served in the Army during World War II in the European Theater, took the flight in April 2014 and Doris, who also was in the Army during World War II, but was stationed stateside, just returned from her trip on Oct. 10.

“I didn’t want to go at first, but finally thought I would,” Doris said. “It was a really nice trip and one I will never forget.”

On his trip, Terry got to meet Bob Dole, but his favorite part was seeing the World War II memorial.

“When we went up to it there were people lined up on both sides of the sidewalk,” he said. “There had to be over 100 people shaking hands. People at the Columbus airport even thanked us (for our service) and there were little kids that came up and said thank you.”

Doris agreed that people really made you feel special.

“When we came home I walked through this one room and then when we got to the second one there had to be 150 to 200 people waiting to greet us,” she said. “Plus we had a police escort all day long wherever we went.”

There are even members of the armed forces who give up their time to help Honor Flight participants.

“This one service member had my camera and was always taking pictures for me,” Terry said. “I looked through those pictures for at least a week.”

Doris also had a special assistant.

“This gal from Texas flew up just to be with the Honor Flight,” she said. “She took pictures for me and didn’t want to leave me at the end. It seemed like we really clicked.”

The veterans who take the flight also are assigned a guardian, who pays his or her own way and are there to assist in any way they are needed. Jim Barstow, Coshocton County Veterans Service Officer, served as this person for both Terry and Doris.

“I had to use a wheelchair most of the time and he pushed me,” said Terry, who is 89. “It’s a long tiring day, but well worth it.”

Barstow also had a wheelchair ready for Doris, who is 88, if she needed to use it.

“I told him I’d push him in it, but I did end up having to sit down the last hour,” Doris said.

Barstow said that Doris’ Oct. 10 flight was the eighth Honor Flight trip that Dave and Patty Dilly have put together since 2012.

“There have been nearly 60 veterans from the World War II and Korean eras who have participated and we’re looking for more so we can plan another trip in the spring,” Barstow said.

Area veterans who go on the Honor Flight stay overnight at a hotel near the airport so they are able to arrive at Port Columbus early in the morning and fly with Southwest Airlines to Baltimore. A short bus ride to Washington takes them to the memorials and then they fly back to Columbus for a welcome home celebration. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided. Medical personnel are assigned to each group and restrooms are readily available.

“When we started down to the World War II Memorial I told Jim (Barstow) that I had a tear in my eye,” Terry said. “It just makes me feel so good to know that people give up their time to do this and that there are at least four flights going out of Columbus each year.”

Honor Flight Columbus is a completely volunteer and non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. It has a simple mission, to safely transport America’s veterans to Washington D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their sacrifices.

Veterans and/or guardians interested in more information or registering for a flight can contact the Veterans Service Office at 740-622-2313. Local groups also can make donations toward making these trips possible for veterans and guardians. Clow Veterans Group held a quilt raffle this summer and donated $580 toward the flight Doris went on. This amount covered Doris’s hotel room, the flight ticket for Barstow and the room for a World War II Veteran, Barstow and Dave Dilly.

Terry tells everyone he can about the program.

“Everybody I see I tell them if they know someone who is eligible they need to get them on a flight,” he said.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments (1)

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  1. Thanks for the great article. So glad Doris enjoyed her day with the group. Thanks to all our veterans for their service to our country.