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Vets Tour Washington, D.C. With Honor Flight

Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 8:38 am

On Saturday, May 2, the fourteenth Honor Flight of Middle Tennessee took to the air carrying World War II and Korean War (Era) veterans on their spring 2015 tour of Washington, DC. This “hub” began in the spring of 2008 under the direction of Milton Schaefer of Winchester. Today, the flight continues to fly twice a year, in the spring and fall, under the direction of Board Chairman Mr. Claude Morse, USAF/ Retired, and Vice Chairman Lana Bradford of Tullahoma.

The May 2, flight saw WWII and Korean War Veterans from Franklin, Coffee, Shelby, Bedford , Grundy, Marion, and Hamilton counties, and from Kentucky, enjoy one of the greatest, and most memorable days in their lives.

Veterans in DC Honor FlightG.C. Brown of Tracy City represented Grundy County on the flight. The oldest Veteran this flight was WWII Veteran Melvin Napoleon Turner, 99, of Jasper. From Franklin County, were Korean War Veterans Carlos Franklin Nichols, US Navy; and Joe Gelly, USMC. In neighboring Coffee County were John Kaprelian, WWII/USAF; Lonnie Charles Jernigan, Korean War/USAF; James Binns, WWII/ Army Air Corps; Alfred Bugg, WWII/ USA; Elmer Green, Korean War/ USA; Ronald Moore, Korean War/USA; Muriel Harris, Korean War/ USA; John Wright, WWII/ USN; William Nutt, WWII/ USN; G. C. Brown, Korean War/ USA; Ken Thomas, Korean War/ USN; Melvin Turner, WWII/ USA; Ralph Carter, Korean War/ USAF; Alfred Edens, WWII/ USA; and LtCOL. Dan Rioux, Korean War/ USAF.

From Bedford County were Doyle Caffey, Korean War/ USA; Ralph Pierce, Korean War/ USA; and Clifford Allison, WWII/ USA. Rutherford County saw two brothers, Edmond and Victor Villa, Korean War veterans of the USA and USAF respectively.

Also flying this day would be Gene Krotchko, WWII/ USA of Michie, TN; Charles Donaldson, Korean War/ USA of Spring Hill; Delmar Watson, Korean War/ USA of Nashville; Paul Patton, WWII/ USA of Nashville; Jerry McClain, Korean War/ USN, of Springfield; Richard Magyar, WWII/ USA of Smyrna; and Aubrey Walker, Korean War/ USA of Madisonville, KY.

Fifteen of the day’s Honor Flight veterans were in need of wheelchair assistance with wheelchairs provided for each flight free of charge by the Doney Family of Middle Tennessee Respiratory in Decherd.

he Honor Flight of Middle Tennessee board of directors are indebted to those who volunteer to serve as “guardians” for these flights. Without these wonderful volunteers to serve and care for the veterans, it would be impossible to carry on in this endeavor.

If you would care to serve as a guardian on a future Honor Flight of Middle Tennessee, please contact Lana Bradford at 931 – 455-3488. World War II and Korean War (Era) veterans desiring to travel on a future Honor Flight can contact Sergeant Major (E-9) Larry E. Williams, US Army/ Ret. at 931 – 924-3000 or