Maine -- (NEWS CENTER) - Last week, News Center broke ground with a never before held telethon that directly benefits the oldest American Veterans in Maine.
Honor Flight Maine flies World War Two veterans down to Washington DC so they can visit the monument created specifically for them and their service.
“They collectively and literally saved the world. To this day, all of Europe is free, all of the Pacific is free and thank God, America is free. That didn’t just happen. They made it happen,” explained Earl Morse, an Air Force Medic and the man who founded Honor Flight in 2005.
Morse says he was motivated to start Honor Flight by the elderly patients he served because he had trouble with the idea that world war two veterans who’d given everything had no way of visiting the memorial built in their honor. “That was something we had to change and I was so relieved to find out the rest of the nation felt the same way.”
Honor Flight started out small. The first tour in May 2005 included 6 planes and flew out of Springfield, Ohio. To date, in 2016, 180,000 world war two veterans…from all over the country have made the trip. Among them? Bob Miele, who lives in Windham. “It’s wonderful to go.” The World War II veteran took the flight two years ago with his daughter. He was a radar operator in the war.
“A month after D-day we left England and landed on Omaha beach. That’s a month after so it was cleared up so we used radar for early warning, we were in England with German war planes working with the English radar also.”
Norway resident Roy Earle has also taken the trip. “I was in the marine corps. Enlisted on November 10th, 1942.” Earle was a communications expert based in the Marshall islands and Iwo Jima, often fixing communications wires cut by the Japanese. “The ones in the back, we get mortar and artillery fire. Now mortar fire coming in goes ‘whizz, whizz, whizz’ but it comes straight down on you so there’s no way you can get away from it. But artillery comes in ‘shoooom’ and bang, you know.”