Honor Flight veterans are back to standing ovation – Eagle News Online

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HANCOCK AIRPORT – Several veterans from the eastern suburbs were among the 81 veterans of the 16th mission of the Honor Flight Syracuse last Saturday.
Upon their return to Syracuse, the 81 veterans were greeted by dozens of well-wishers at the gate before heading to the main hall, where they marched to the setting of a brief ceremony in the center of the hall. Hundreds, if not thousands, of family members, friends and well-wishers waved signs and cheered on the veterans as they made their way to the ceremony.
Most of the veterans aboard Mission 16 were from the Korean War and Vietnam War eras, but there were three veterans aboard who served in World War II.
Honor Flight Network was formed in 2005 to fly veterans to Washington, DC for free to visit their memorials. Honor Flight Syracuse conducted its inaugural mission in October 2012 for 27 veterans and since then nearly 1,200 veterans have traveled from central and northern New York and the Mohawk Valley.
Each veteran brings a companion, called a “guardian”, to help navigate the flight and visits to monuments and memorials.
Nationally, the Honor Flight program will soon have brought over a quarter of a million veterans to Washington.
The keynote speaker for the event was Col. Travis McIntosh, a US Army aviation officer serving as commander of the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Drum. McIntosh thanked the 81 veterans on the flight for their service to the nation and for inspiring the hundreds of thousands of military members who protect our nation every day.
As they do for each of the Honor Flight missions, the Tom Dooley Choraliers sang a mix of anthems for each branch of the military. When they started the Marine Corps Anthem, a Marine veteran in the center of the audience jumped like a wand as the audience members and other Marines shouted “Oorah!”
Susan Bastable of Fayetteville, team leader and host of the Honor Flight program, was the master of ceremonies for the event. She gave special thanks to RN Dr. Kara Evans, also of Fayetteville, a nurse from LeMoyne College of Nursing who has served as medical director for the Honor Flight Syracuse since its inception. Evans, who steps down from that role after that flight, leads a team of nine nurses who attend to any medical needs the veterans might face during the trip.
The Eastern Suburbia veterans participating in the 16th mission of the Honor Flight Syracuse were:
– David S. Backus of Fayetteville, who served in the military during the Vietnam War and in France during the Berlin crisis.
– Raymond F Besecker of East Syracuse, who served in the Air Force and Air National Guard from 1955 to 1986 and retired as a lieutenant colonel, after serving in Vietnam, Germany and the the arctic.
– Bernard Bregman, of DeWitt, who served in the Army from 1955 to 1957.
– Harold H. Bristol, of Jamesville, who served as a captain in the Air Force from 1954 to 1958.
– Marion Ervin, of Jamesville, 1st Lieutenant in the Army during the Vietnam War, from 1969 to 1972.
– Frank Frydrychowicz, of DeWitt, who served in the army in Germany during the Cold War from 1960 to 1962.
– Reed F. Hawke, of DeWitt, who served in the Navy during the Korean War, from 1948 to 1952.
– Russell V. LoGalbo, of Manlius, who served in the Air Force in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972.
– Stephen B. Nathan, of Fayetteville, who served in the Army from 1965 to 1968 and in the Army Reserve until 1992, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
– William J. Novak, of Manlius, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
– William G. Sheldon, of DeWitt, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, from 1957 to 1967.


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