Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Kimball Welcomes Honor Flight Veterans

Thirty Panhandle veterans – one from World War II, four from the Korean War, and the rest from the Vietnam War – stopped in Kimball on their way to fly into Baltimore and then tour the monuments in Washington, D.C. This was the Lone Eagle Honor Flight.

John Oliver, 90, was one of the Honor Flight veterans. John was accompanied by his daughter, Rene Keller. Not mincing words, John said about being picked for the trip to Washington, D.C., "Surprised the hell out of me."

After serving in Korea in the Army, John became a Nebraska State Patrolman stationed in the mid-1960s in Kimball. There was no interstate. He worked Highway 30 and Highway 71. John's career spanned 30 years with the State Patrol, including work as a criminal investigator for the State of Nebraska.

He retired when he was 52, bought a motorcycle, and visited all 48 contiguous states in four years. He resides at the Western Nebraska Veterans Home in Scottsbluff.

The Lone Eagle Honor Flight arrived in Baltimore on Friday and departed on Sunday. The Honor Flight Network's mission is to celebrate America's veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at the nation's memorials. The Honor Flight goal is to provide a hero's welcome and recognize their sacrifices in serving our country.

The veterans are able to visit the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard, the Marine Corps Memorial, and often the Navy Memorial, FDR Memorial and Air Force Memorial.