New volume tells stories of Honor Flights

Cheryl Popp, director of Honor Flight Tri-State, and Peter Bronson, former editorial page editor for the Cincinnati Enquirer

Cheryl Popp, director of Honor Flight Tri-State, and Peter Bronson, former editorial page editor for the Cincinnati Enquirer

A new book, “Legacy of Courage II,” tells the tales of military veterans from Greater Cincinnati. Their stories were collected by Cheryl Popp, director of Honor Flight Tri-State, and Peter Bronson, former editorial page editor for the Cincinnati Enquirer. It is the second volume of personal tales gathered during Honor Flights.

Five times a year, the Honor Flights take veterans 65 and older to Washington, D.C., for a day to see the monuments that honor them.

Each flight accommodates 72 vets and their companions, known as guardians.

The dual purpose of the flights and the books is to preserve the stories of courage and to thank the veterans for their service. The flights have been so well received that all five scheduled for 2017 are booked, but names can be added to a list – and WWII vets always receive priority.

CWC president Mary Ellen Betz and Ed Burke, a World War II veteran of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge

CWC president Mary Ellen Betz and Ed Burke, a World War II veteran of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge

Combat veterans, the authors noted, often are reluctant to speak of their experiences to their families and friends back home, but when they travel with their peers, they tell their stories. For instance, Jamie “Pee Wee” Martin parachuted into Normandy amid withering enemy flak on D-Day, six hours before the landing.

Marine Johnny Johnson fought in Korea in temperatures that went to 40 degrees below zero, freezing tanks to the ground, jamming guns, and freezing food and feet. And then there were the servicewomen who participated in the first all-female Honor Flight in 2015.

Popp and Bronson shared these stories and others at the Cincinnati Woman’s Club during a Lecture and Enrichment evening honoring U.S. military veterans. More than 120 audience members heard the tales of vets from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq.

The book sells for $25 and is available online or at local bookstores, including Blue Marble, The Booksellers and The Bookshelf, as well as at Lunken Airport’s gift shop.

honorflighttristate.org

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