HONOR FLIGHT MAY 1, 2, 2011 – In her own words
WWII Army Nurse, 1st Lt, Marilynn E Logsdon Doenges 1944-1946
Saturday April 30: I drove to Aurora to attend my great-granddaughter, Annabelle’s 8th birthday party. We had a great time visiting with everyone, Jennifer, Brandon, Will & Henry, Jonathan, Kim, Mandalyn, Nancy and Jim. I left about 5 and drove to Loveland to my son, David’s house where I spent the night with Monita and him.
May 1: David drove me to the Embassy Suites Hotel where everyone was signing in. We were given our carry-on bag, with a cap and shirt and a few other little things, and our name tag with our information on it. After coffee and rolls, my sister< Miriam, and I went to the Blue bus, our assigned but for the trip. There were 3 other buses, Gold, Green and Red. There were 115 men and 3 women. Miriam was a Navy WAVE and the other lady was also a Navy WAVE. I was an Army Nurse. There were also 60 Guardians who were assigned to look after each participant.
As we left Loveland, we were led by the Patriot Motorcycle Riders, several Larimer County Sheriff’s car and police cars with lights and sirens. We drove down I-25. At every exit there was a Fire Truck, Police or Sheriff’s car with the men and women standing there saluting us. That was wonderful. We arrived at the airport hanger next to DIA, where again, volunteers, soldiers, Army, Navy, Air Force were waiting to salute us and thank us for our service. They lined the walk from the buses to the Hanger. Several of the young women navy personnel from Buckley Air Force Base leaned over and thanked Miriam, the other Wave and myself, WWII female veterans, for serving and setting an example and making it possible for them to have careers. We gathered in the hanger to have drinks, coffee, juice and muffins. The leader of Honor Flight and an Army General spoke to us.
As our Bus Color was called, we lined up and entered our charter airplane. I sat with a Navy veteran from Windsor and we shared stories about where we were. We took off about 9:30, a 2 ½ hour trip. We were served ham and swiss cheese or turkey sandwiches, fruit and drinks for lunch. They gave us our room assignments-before we arrived at Baltimore/Washington Airport, so we went into the hotel and right to our rooms. Miriam and I were assigned as roommates. They took care of our luggage so it arrived in our room promptly. We rested for a while and then went to the dining room for the Banquet.
We three ladies sat at a table with 7 men. Of course our conversation was about where you served and all of that information. There were a couple of Navy men, Army and Air Force (Corps). One young man who was serving as a Guardian for his father, had been in Afghanistan and that added interest to our evening. The Keynote speaker was a retired Army general who gave an excellent speech. We have been mailed copies of his speech. Several of the men came up to me later and said how much they enjoyed our dinner together. I did too.
We had been given chits for drinks and Miriam thought she might like something, but was too tired. I said I would like a hot chocolate. Julie, one of our Guardians said she would go get us one. We went on up to our room and were getting ready for bed, when she arrived with two pots of cocoa. She told us that they were out of the little instant cocoa packages, so the Manager went into the kitchen and made us cocoa from scratch. What a treat!! We had the TV on and saw the announcement of Osama Ben Laden’s death.
Miriam got up at 5 the next morning, but I slept in until 5:30. We needed to pack our bags and have them out to be picked up. We went down to a wonderful breakfast, everything you might want. The call for the Blue bus went out and we boarded and headed for Washington. Lots of morning traffic headed both ways. They showed us a DVD of how the WWII Memorial was built and the controversy about building, it on the trip. When we arrived at the Monument out Guardian’s pushed us around in wheelchairs. It is so beautiful. Miriam and I had our pictures taken at the states we have lived in, Colorado, Missouri, and Ohio. My name and my husband, Dean’s name are in the Registry. Dean’s cousin, Mary Jane Klipple, who lives in Washington and works close to the Monument, came over and walked around visiting with us. What a pleasure that was! Every time we turned around more water was urged on us. After about an hour we boarded the buses and went to the Korean Monument. It is so impressive with the life –size figures and the wall with actual faces of the army personnel etched into it. Next we went to the Lincoln Monument (always so impressive). We looked out over the Reflecting pool, which is undergoing “rehabilitation”. Next was the Vietnam Memorial, then the Marine, Iwo Jima. We had a group picture taken there. The Air Force Monument was next and we had a box lunch. The chicken salad sandwiches were very good. We sat around the beautiful grounds while we ate and visited with each other.
We boarded the buses, and after driving around the Capital and other well-known buildings (we weren’t able to go close because of security we did see the White House across the lawn), we headed back to the Baltimore/Washington airport, boarding our plane after going through a modified security check. Sandwiches again for supper, a choice of turkey or ham and swiss. Arrived at the airport about 8:30, and a bus ride to Loveland. David was waiting for me and Miriam’s son, Rusty and his wife, Pat were waiting for her. We received a beautiful book about the WWII Memorial, and a neck pillow some women made.
I spent the night with David and drove home the next day, tired but exhilarated. What a wonderful trip! We were treated royally and enjoyed the people who planned this and took such good care of us.