Veterans honored weeks before the next “Ozarks Honor Flight”

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Veterans were honored at the White River Conference on Saturday, June 26, just weeks before the next “Ozarks Honor Flight” is set to take off.

However, there was not a local flight last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic which is why this year is extra special.

“This is the highest honor the French give to ally soldiers,” said Jack Hamlin, recipient of the French Legion of Honor.

For Jack Hamlin, rescuing soldiers and young boys on D-Day is something he’ll never forget.

“We saved 1486 soldiers and 1 female nurse,” said Hamlen. “She was a British nurse.”

Hamlin has traveled back to Normandy seven times and has been honored every time he has gone back.

“So I did go to England and had dinner with the queen of England,” said Hamlin.

Seeing veterans be recognized is more than just history.

“It never gets old,” said Mike Totten, Ozarks Honor Flight coordinator.

“We knew what we were doing and we got the job done,” said Hamlen.

Now the job is to book back on history by taking veterans to D.C.

“All the money for these flights comes directly from donors and volunteers and people that donate these items for the auction,” said Totten.

A flight to remember.

“Really I’ve been honored,” said Hamlin. “I’ve been very lucky.”

The first Ozarks Honor Flight of 2021 is set to take off on August 24. Totten said they are monitoring the coronavirus to ensure everyone is safe to fly. The second Ozarks Honor Flight of this year is October 26.

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