Owen Electric helping to send vet to see memorial

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By The Staff

They manned anti-aircraft guns at Pearl Harbor, slogged ashore at Normandy and fought their way up Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, then modestly returned home to resume their civilian lives as farmers and teachers.
Today, veterans who survived World War II’s carnage are in their 80s or 90s. Unfortunately, many will never get a chance to see the memorial their grateful nation erected in 2004 to honor them.
With Veteran’s Day approaching, Owen Electric Cooperative, 15 other Kentucky electric cooperatives and its power supplier, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, have joined with the Bluegrass Chapter of the Honor Flight Network to sponsor an Honor Flight for these veterans Oct. 22.
Owen Electric is partnering with fellow co-ops to pay to fly 35 World War II vets from Louisville to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial. The memorial pays tribute to the 16 million who served in the United States Armed Forces during the war, the 400,000-plus who died and all who supported the war effort on the home front.
While in Washington, the veterans also will visit other U.S. war memorials and be greeted by government officials. They’ll be transported around the city on chartered buses.
The trip is free to the veterans. Jouett Faulkner, a former Army medic from Dry Ridge, is being sponsored by Owen Electric. Volunteers will accompany the vets as guardians, to ease their travel and, if needed, assist with wheelchairs and necessary carry-on bags. Faulkner’s grandson, Alex Dunn, will be accompanying him on the special trip.
This Honor Flight is part of a larger national network that has 106 hubs, or chapters, in 38 states. The network was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician assistant and retired Air Force captain, who wanted to honor the veterans he had taken care of.
“Honor Flight’s mission is critical to get as many of our veterans to see the monument as possible — some have been on the waiting list since 2008. These brave men and women risked their lives and endured untold suffering on our behalf, so that we could enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted,” said Whitney Duvall, Owen Electric spokesperson. “This Oct. 22 trip is our way of saying ‘thank you.’ ”