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Tuesday, May 21, 2019
HomeThe SocialHonor Flight takes veterans to DC, brings back memories

Honor Flight takes veterans to DC, brings back memories

The Honor Flight of veterans from World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam conflict visited Washington, D.C. last week, where they were welcomed by Sen. Dan Sullivan.

Among those traveling was former state Sen. Clem Tillion accompanied by his son-in-law, former Rep. Sam Cotten.

Clem Tillion, center, and Sam Cotten to his left, wave flags with 21 other veterans as they take off for the nation’s capital. They returned home on Saturday after five days.

Alaska Airlines and the Last Frontier Honor Flight organization flew them to the nation’s capital in a new patriotic-theme 737-800 aircraft, whose paint job was conceived by a group of the airline’s maintenance technicians.

On the side, an inscription reads: “Honoring those who serve,” and “To those in uniform serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.”

Arriving in DC, the plane was greeted with a water cannon salute as it pulled up to the gate at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

The group visited the memorials dedicated to the men and women who have served the nation in uniform during recent wars.

Upon their return, the group stopped in Portland, for an overnight rest, and then continued on the next day to Alaska, where the veterans were greeted at the Ted Stevens International Airport by Gov. Michael Dunleavy.

It’s the first of two Honor Flights that Alaska Airlines will be assisting with this year. The airline has taken part in the program since 2014, when it brought 45 Alaska veterans from World War II to the nation’s capital.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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