25th Honor Flight dedicated to fallen soldier, Marine

25th Honor Flight dedicated to fallen soldier, Marine

Inland Northwest Honor Flight flew 90 local veterans to Washington, DC early Wednesday morning and Thursday they’ll be visiting war memorials built in their honor.

Wednesday’s was the 25th Honor Flight in the Inland Northwest and is special for several reasons. First of all, at 45, it’s carrying the largest contingent to date of Korean War veterans. Second, the flight was dedicated to two very special men from the area who made their marks halfway across the world and made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Honor Flight is a way of saying thank you to those that came back and remembering those who didn’t.

“It is with the highest sense of honor and the highest sense of privilege that we dedicate our October 2014 Inland Northwest Honor Flight in memory of SGT Jacob Hess and CPL Justin Clouse,” Tony Lamanna, director of Inland Northwest Honor Flight, said.

Clouse, a 22-year-old soldier from Sprague, was killed earlier this year in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan. Hess, a Marine who attended North Central High School, was killed in action in January in Afghanistan.

For veterans like Bernard Mayhle, getting the opportunity to travel to Washington to see the Korean War Memorial was a wonderful opportunity.

“A lot of these guys have never been back there before so it is exciting for everybody,” he said.

Wednesday morning, he recalled the amphibious landings at Inchon, which happened in September of 1950. He sailed on a destroyer for Korea, shipping out just two weeks after completing basic training.

“It was scary, it really was, because where we went in Inchon harbor no American ship had ever been into that harbor before,” Mayhle said.

For Mayhle and his fellow veterans, as well as the two fallen servicemen Wednesday’s flight was dedicated to, the 25th Inland Northwest Honor Flight was about accepting a heartfelt thank you from a very grateful community.