Thursday, September 29, 2011

WWII Orofino vets visit national monuments

Waiting at the Spokane Airport for the trip of their lifetime are WWII Veterans: Robert M. Goodwin (Navy Quartermaster First Class 1941-1946) (left) and Perk Lyda (Navy Seaman First Class 1946-1947) (right). Harmon Cross (Army First Sgt. 1967-Viet Nam and 2009-Iraq) is pictured in the rear.

By Alannah Allbrett

Two longtime Orofino residents, both WWII Veterans, got the trip of a lifetime to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC, Sept. 24. Perk Lyda and Robert M. Goodwin got to participate in the Inland Northwest Honor Flight (INWHF) program which makes it possible for WWII veterans, who are physically able, to see the memorial created with them in mind.

Harmon Cross (First Sgt., US Army) a veteran of both Viet Nam and Iraq, volunteered to escort them to the airport in Spokane and back home when they returned. Jerry McDuffy, Marine Corps veteran, served as their official Guardian and helped them every step of the way on this historic trip.

This, all-expense paid trip, was not one for the faint-hearted. Their itinerary had them scheduled for breakfast each morning by They were kept busy with trips to Arlington National Cemetery – viewing the Changing of the Guard, visiting the Women’s Memorial at Arlington, the World War I Memorial, the Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials, the Navy and Marine Corps Memorials, and the Air Force Monument.

As the INWHF website says, “Support for these trips is provided by volunteers, and is at no cost to the veterans. Top priority is given to our most senior heroes - survivors of WWII and any veteran with a terminal illness who wishes to visit their memorial.” If you wish to become involved in supporting trips like this for other veterans, the web address is:

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