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Thanking Those Who Served

Salute to Veterans Day

Nyreesha Williams-Torrence

  • Thanking Those Who Served
    Doug Ward, a B-17 ball turret gunner who flew 37 missions in WWII, talks with AirVenture guests in the Welcome Center. Doug: 715-287-4205 Judie Ohm (neighbor/helper - 715-287-3377) AirVenture 2012 photo by Brady Lane/EAA

July 28, 2016 - EAA’s Salute to Veterans Day is the organization and its membership’s “thank-you” to the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Friday's celebration begins at 8 a.m. in the Partner Resource Center. EAA said it is grateful to have veterans in attendance at AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam era and are in uniform today.

 “It’s a day where we can say thanks for the freedoms that we enjoy here,” said Chris Henry, EAA museum programs representative.

Salute to Veterans Day opens with guest speaker Michael Durant, who was a helicopter pilot in what became known as the Battle of Mogadishu. “If you’ve seen the movie Blackhawk Down, he’s depicted as the pilot that survived off of Super 64. Two Army Rangers gave their lives to save him. So we’re very honored to have him here speaking, ” Henry said.

Veterans in attendance are invited to join with others from their respective branches of service for the Parade of Veterans, hosted by Warbirds of America at 1:30 p.m Friday July 29th. It begins in Warbird Alley, and a group photo is scheduled on Boeing Plaza afterwards.

“The parade will go right down Celebration Way, led by jeeps carrying World War II veterans,” Henry said. “We have (many) veterans here, ... from Pearl Harbor veterans, WASP, the women who flew fighters and bombers in World War II; Tuskegee Airmen, Korea-era fighter pilots and Vietnam helicopter pilots. We have a really great span of veterans involved, including those who fought in Desert Storm. So we’re excited about that.”

Friday's activities will culminate this evening with the return of the Yellow Ribbon Honor Flight presented by EAA and Old Glory Honor Flight.

The fourth annual flight, which is scheduled to depart at 6:30 a.m., will take 100 Vietnam-era veterans to Washington, D.C. where they’ll have the opportunity to see some of the memorials dedicated to them, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

At 6 p.m. on Friday, you are invited to gather in Boeing Centennial Plaza to celebrate the veteran’s return from D.C.,  and help kick off the evening concert featuring swing revival band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

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