In my 88 year life span I felt that I had seen everything, heard everything, that would be moments I would consider highlights in my life. But Sept. 5 this year I met a veteran near my age, Veteran Dick Werner of St. George. He stated, "Paul you should sign up for the Veterans trip going back to Washington D.C. leaving the Hill Air Force Base on Sept. 13 and arriving back at Hill Air Force Bill on Sept. 16.
I signed up and joined Glen and Barbara Bagley, Rob and Jacqueline Bishop, Sue Elliot, Herman Ferdinando, Barbara Jacobson, Mahon Kid, Bill Nicolas, Doyle and Camilla Ohlwiler, Clayton Ramsay and his son Jay Ramsay, Warren Smith and his son-in-law Steve Rockwell, Ray and Afton Stapley, Mary Thacker, Dick and Barbara Werner, Jay Williams, Robert and Marva Wood, and my wife LaRean C. Young. These were the 16 World War II Veterans from Washington County.
At the Hill Air Force Base we joined 228 other veterans and their wives or relatives making a total of 244 Utah Veterans, from age 79-91 years of age. That same group of people Tom Brokaw wrote about, Americas Greatest Generation.
All on one plane, after a great send off program, we flew to Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. With a Crossed Sword and Red Carpet greeting. To keep this letter short we saw all those important sights and memorials in the night time then reviewed them in the daylight. It was very, very good.
But the best part of the entire trip and gained my highest admiration was the timing, co-ordination, pre-planning putting this all together, then pulling it off with perfection. Not one glitch, not even a minute mistake. All the veterans give our heart felt thanks to the committee members who are: Judy Lemmons, Clinton; Mike and Emily Mecham, Payson; Kim Christofferson, Spanish Fork; Ryan Lind, Santaquin; Keith Hall, Orem; and Keven Boughten, American Fork. This group pre-planned this trip and pulled it off beyond perfection.
Thanks for the patient, kind love, tenderness, thoughtfulness you continually gave us Old Last Gaspers. Last, but not the least, our praise, thanks and humble gratitude to the Patriot Guard of Utah and their two lines holding 70 flags. To all of them I gave a salute and a hand shake and a hug. To you male guard members I can never ever recall receiving tighter hugs than your wives or girlfriends gave me and those that had tears in their eyes when I stepped back. The hugs and the tears were indeed the frosting on the cake.
God be with you till we meet again.