BRISTOL BITS: Taking a look at 'The Honor Flight'

Published on Wednesday, 28 September 2022 12:18
Written by BOB MONTGOMERY

@TheBristolPress

Several years ago, Bob Lindsay’s father-in-law, Stanley Stylinski, a World War II pilot, had the privilege of taking the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. That’s where American veterans are flown to visit the monuments and take in other military-related experiences. When Bob, an Air Force Vietnam veteran who handled ammunition supply, learned that they were accepting applications for others to do this, he decided to apply.

Bob signed up and two of his friends, high school classmates and sports teammates from Bristol Eastern ‘64, Roger Michele and Paul Reimer, joined him. They went to Washington, D.C. this past Saturday. Bob writes:

“The Honor Flight is something every veteran should experience. Matt Sparks (founder of Flight Connecticut) and his staff did an outstanding job in arranging the flight. They handled everything from transportation, meals and snacks, boarding passes and handicap accommodations! U.S. veterans ‘went along on the ride’ on this special day.”

Paul, who was badly injured in Vietnam, served in Army Intelligence.

“I had watched online videos of other Honor Flights, but they couldn’t prepare me for the actual experience,” Paul informed me. “The ride from the Windsor Locks High School parking lot at 7:00 a.m. to the greeting from so many people at Bradley Airport was amazing. 

“Once we got to Washington, we experienced truly moving visits at Arlington (Cemetery) for the change of guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the World War II Memorial, at the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam  Memorial. We found ‘The Wall’ and got an etching of the name of our BEHS classmate, David Emond. Mission accomplished!

“That was a day I will never forget and we owe it all to the incredible people at Honor Flight Connecticut, they were all so kind and gracious to all of us. We were joined by 40 other veterans - the oldest being 103 years old - 14 Korean War veterans and 22 other Vietnam veterans. Honor Flight Connecticut, I thank you and salute you!”

Roger served with the Naval Air crew, and was an infrared technician with the VAH21 squadron.  He had the following to say about Saturday’s trip:

“All the monuments, sights and memorials in Washington, D.C. are second only to the sincere ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Thank you for your service’ comments we received from hundreds of patriotic citizens who came out to honor us at every Honor Flight destination. 

“Fortunately, the true Americans that make up ‘We the People’ are still in the greatest majority. Thanks to all who made this a wonderful day that we will never forget.”

Contact Bob Montgomery at bmontgomery@bristolpress.com or by calling 860-583-5132.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Wednesday, 28 September 2022 12:18. Updated: Wednesday, 28 September 2022 12:20.