Claremore Daily Progress

September 19, 2013

HONOR FLIGHTS: 4 Claremore veterans visit D.C. memorials

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Four World War II veterans from Claremore will participate in a one-day trip to Washington D.C. Veterans will have the opportunity to visit the WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Wall, the Lincoln Memorial and other sites.
Hallie Adamson, Howard Elliott, Tommie Harvey and Walter Marlin are among 83 Oklahoma veterans who received a free trip provided by Oklahoma Honor Flights, a hub of the national Honor Flight Network. This will be the 15th flight from Oklahoma and the fifth from Tulsa.
Adamson is the second oldest veteran in this year’s trip, he will be 95-years-old in December. Adamson fought in the Philippines as a rifleman for the U.S. Army during WWII. He said for him, the trip represents patriotism and provides a time to remember all who have fought for freedom. 
After some recent health issues, doctors were not sure if Adamson would be well enough to make the flight, however, days before take off they gave him the “OK.”
“He kept asking if (his son) Kevin was ready. I said yes he’s ready, and he was so excited,” said Adamson’s daughter Shelia Burnett. “His health is good. I’m glad both of them will be able to share this moment together.”
Marlin said he has been to the Arlington National Cemetary and the Smithsonian, but to see all of the sites at once is something extra special.
After spending the day in Washington D.C., Marlin plans to visit his grandchildren in Virginia for a few days, before flying back. 
“I haven’t seen my grandchildren in a long time, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’m very grateful for this opportunity and I feel great.”
Marlin entered the military following WWII. He worked in communications for the Army while stationed in Ft. Smith, Ark. and El Paso, Texas. 
Sponsors of the Oklahoma Honor Flights help pay for the trip, and several Tulsa businesses have donated wheelchairs, food and snacks.
“We are honored to be able to help provide this opportunity to the Greatest Generation-the servicemen who defended our freedom,” said Oklahoma President of Verizon Wireless Dean Taylor.
Since 2010, more than 1,300 Oklahoma WWII veterans have been flown to Washington D.C.
“The Oklahoma Honor Flight is an experience we give to veterans who, in most cases, are unable to visit Washington and the memorials on their own,” said Eric Proctor, flight committee chairman and Oklahoma State representative from Tulsa. 
The Honor Flight departed early Wednesday morning and returned later that night.
A celebration parade, complete with band and color guard, was held in honor of the returning veterans.