S: Honor Flight
FC: Stars & Stripes Honor Flight | October 8, 2011 | Raymond Koval United States Navy | Petty Officer Third Class Radio Man (Sparky)
1: Ray was drafted in June of 1944 and was honorably discharged on July 1, 1946
2: U.S. Naval Training Center Great Lakes, Illinois Ray is fourth from left in front row standing
3: Naval Training School (Radio) University of Wisconsin - Madison Ray is third from left in second row The servicemen were kept segregated from the student population
4: Ray at Fort McKinley, Pasig, Luzan Island, Philippines Previously he had been on Leyte and Samar | This is the radio room where Ray was on duty when he received the historic message shown on the next page.
5: On August 15, 1945, Ray was on duty and received this message from General Douglas MacArthur to be forwarded to the Japanese Empire calling for the cessation of hostilities.
6: Sometimes a break in the action allowed for free time with buddies and social time with the locals
8: 4:30am - Hurry up and wait !!!!!!!! | Mitchell International Airport Waiting to board the Honor Flight | Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker greeted and served breakfast to the veterans | An a cappella men's chorus sang for the vets as they waited to board the plane | Ray gives the "Guv" some advice
9: Governor Scott Walker makes a presentation to the veterans. | Mitchell International Airport Waiting to board the Honor Flight | Grabbing a bite to eat helped pass the time while waiting to board the plane. Many veterans were in wheelchairs or used walkers so the boarding procedure was tedious.
10: On board the Delta 757 - Four jets from WI - over 400 veterans | New buddies | Delta Airlines crew took it upon themselves to decorate the plane for the veterans
11: Arrival at Dulles International Airport Washington, DC | A water cannon salute by the airport fire department along with a warm welcome from the folks in Washington | Police give a red lights & siren escort to the veterans' motorcade all the way to the WWII Memorial | IT'S OK Her husband is serving in Afghanistan and she loves to honor our veterans
12: The World War II Memorial | Flying eagles carry a wreath in their talons | Engravings from silly to solemn are displayed throughout the memorial | Two identical pavilions stand guard over the memorial. One honors those who served in the Pacific and the other those who served in the Atlantic theaters
13: The veterans in array at the memorial with a hand salute to honor those who died in service to their country | The World War II Memorial
14: The World War II Memorial | Every state and protectorate is represented by an engraved column
15: On The Road | The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight bus captain and bus driver served the vets with patience and cheerfulness | Time did not allow us to stop at all monuments so we did a drive by of Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and the Air Force Memorial (at the pentagon it was possible to see where the jet struck the building on 911)
16: The Marine Corps Memorial - Raising of Flag at Iwo Jima
17: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and The Changing of the Guard
18: Homeward Bound | Mail Call - letters from family and friends honoring Ray New friends to chat with on the flight home | Upon release from a POW camp, barely alive, a WWII vet was asked what the future holds for him. He did not know exactly, but said, "Every Day is a Bonus". This is the motto of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flights
19: A Heroes Welcome at Mitchell International Airport | As we exited the airplane we could hear music from a drum and bagpipe corps. We were then met by the honor guard of military personnel at attention delivering a hand salute to honor the veterans. It was breathtaking
20: A Heroes Welcome at Mitchell International Airport | Military personnel, law enforcement, family and citizens by the thousands came to welcome and honor their returning war heroes.
21: A Heroes Welcome at Mitchell International Airport
22: A Heroes Welcome at Mitchell International Airport | Harlan & Beth Petersen | Jeanne Koval & Kylie Koval | Ruth Olsen, Jeanne Koval & Kylie Koval | Heidi Koval, Andre Kaul & Josh Koval
23: A Heroes Welcome at Mitchell International Airport | ,Jeanne & Ray Koval, Dan & Jodi Kaul, Josh Koval, Alex Kaul, Heidi Koval, Scott Koval, Annika & Kylie Koval | The memories, a long day, the overdue honor and appreciation finally catch up and emotions show. Thanks Ray - well done.