Kentucky Marines Welcome Home World War II Veterans Following Nostalgic Excursion to Washington, DC

"Honor Flight" Homecoming 2010

Louisville, Kentucky; June 26, 2010:  As darkness fell on the Louisville International Airport, thirty one (31) military veterans of World War II, accompanied by eleven (11) escort guardians, returned home from a nostalgic long overdue visit to our nation's capital and its magnificent war memorials. Each year, World War II veterans from throughout Kentucky, who have never visited the National World War II Memorial, are transported via commercial aircraft at no cost to them, by Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter from Louisville to Baltimore, where they board a charter bus for ground transportation to their memorial, as well as to the  Korean War Veterans National Memorial and the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Statue). Prior to returning to Louisville, they are provided with lunch and dinner. While airborne enroute home, hundreds of veterans, family members and friends gather at Louisville International Airport to prepare for their arrival. As the group slowly wends its way from the ramp area to the main terminal, a welcoming tunnel of flag bearing and soon to be cheering supporters secretly await them. Upon exiting through the security checkpoint, they are initially greeted by a military honor guard from the Veterans of Foreign War, Post 1170 (Middletown, Kentucky) and immediately embark on a long line of flag waiving greeters welcoming them home and thanking them for their great sacrifices during World War II. This ritual, which occurs approximately 7-8 times each year, has moistened many an eye. Since 2008, Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter has served over 600 World War II veterans, who otherwise would never be able to visit their magnificent memorial. These flights are made possible by corporate, private and organizational funding and the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky (MCCCK) is proud to support and sponsor the participation of our senior brothers in arms, who have worn the eagle globe and anchor with pride and distinction during World War II. Traveling to Washington, DC on Saturday, May 26, 2010, representing the Marine Corps was Owen N. "Dutch" Schuster (pictured above), who served with the 1st Marine Air Wing, Marine Air Group 32, Squadron 416 (1943-1945), as an ordinance technician, engaged in bombing and strafing of enemy shipping and installations in support of the Battle of Mindanao, during the liberation of the Philippine Islands. The MCCCK salutes Owen N. "Dutch" Schuster for his service and thanks him for allowing us to honor him and others in such a meaningful manner. (Photograph by Jennie Armento)