CAMERON PARK, Calif — Typically, the Honor Flight Network transports veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit their respective war memorials. Sometimes, though, veterans are unable to make the trip. On Friday, the community brought the experience to Cameron Park.
The focus was on veterans from World War II and the Korean War, but veterans from a number of U.S. conflicts attended the ceremony.
Dorothy Mitchell, 94, was the only female veteran from World War II who attended. She joined the Coast Guard because her sister had joined the Marines and Mitchell didn't want to be left at home alone, or to have her sister as a boss.
Mitchell was stationed in Sheep's Head Bay, Brooklyn where she was a PBX operator.
"I'm just overwhelmed," explained Mitchell. "I have to keep myself centered because I'm going to fall apart. So I don't want to do that. It's just a lot of people doing a lot of things for us. And that's so nice."
Mitchell said she loved her time in the service and would have loved to continue, but she got married to an Army man and settled down. She was married 74 years before he died.
Despite the camaraderie the veterans share, the rivalries between branches of the armed forces still run deep.
"I'd tell anybody, any young person, 'join the service,'" laughed Mitchell. "Join the Coast Guard. That's the only one I would join."
Roland Morris was the oldest veteran at the event at the age of 101. He had served in both World War II and the Korean War. He was delighted to be at the event surrounded by fellow veterans.
"I'm glad they're all here," chuckled Morris. "That means they made it."
Jack Lunsford is a Vietnam veteran. He was attending the Honor Flight with his good friend Karl Griffiths.
"If you get an opportunity to put yourself in an environment like this, I'd say take it," advised Lunsford. "Whatever it takes, it's great. It's a good feeling. And I'm sure these old veterans really appreciate it."
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