North Coast Honor Flight 2015
For years, many local war veterans never had the chance to visit the memorials created to honor them in Washington D.C. However, with the help of the North Coast Honor Flight, that changed.
Started in 2005, Honor Flight is now nationwide. "This gives these folks a chance to be visible again, to be validated as real whole human beings, that have had a big history," said Steven Justus, North Coast Honor Flight Co-Chairman.
This year's group is headed to Sacramento on Thursday, June 4th to board the honor flight. Veterans will fly into the Washington Dulles Airport, travel on a tour bus and return on Sunday.
Tony Muljat, 71 year member (right): Tony, just before his 20th birthday entered into the Army Air Corps where he served for 3 years. He served as Chief Clerk in France, Germany and England. Tony was in charge of Personel Section of the 19th Tactical Air Command Headquarters. Being in a tactical unit, Tony had more officers than enlisted personnel. Because of Tony's top secret clearance Tony was often restricted to base due to his knowledge of battle plans and other top secret information. At one point, Tony was responsible for the battle plans of the Invasion of Normandy.
Clarence Facha, 54 year member (left): Just out of high school, Clarence joined the Marines. Although he had a "farm deferment," his friends had joined so he went. As part of the first wave of Marines on Saipan Island on June 15, 1944, he went in with amphibious tanks after the initial bombardment. His battalion was on the extreme left flank which, because of its exposure, suffered the worst of the counterattack. His battalion received a Presidential citation for their heroic efforts. Nine months later, on February 23, 1945, Clarence witnessed the flag raising on Iwo Jima and his battalion was awarded their second Presidential citation.
Patriot Guard Riders to assist and 'Stand a Flag Line' for the Honor Flight:
The Patriot Guard Riders (PGR)were asked to assist and 'Stand a Flag Line' Friday morning for the 52 WWII, Korea, and Vietnam Veterans boarding Southwest Airlines Honor Flight bound from Sacramento to Washington, D.C. (Standing a Flag Line is a tribute to veterans and is also stood at memorial services and burials). Patriot Guard Riders participation must always be requested for an event and is never initiated by Patriot Guard Riders. Honor Flights such as this one, are organized nationally each year. In past years, the program was only for WWII Veterans, but because their ranks are decreasing rapidly, this year was expanded to include other conflicts. Sunday afternoon, June 7th, the honorees will return to Sacramento, and will be greeted by a Patriot Guard Riders Welcome Home Flag Line. More detailed info about PGR's history may be found at www.patriotguard.org