Honor Flight Northland Can Be a Family Affair, Possibly Last Flight

By KBJR News 1

October 11, 2012 Updated Oct 11, 2012 at 3:01 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - It's a flight dedicated to giving veterans a day of recognition, sending them to the capital to see the war memorials.

The Honor Flight Northland for World War Two veterans may have landed for the last time.

It's not only an experience for those who served, it becomes a family affair.

What could be the final group of Honor Flight veterans toured their memorials Tuesday, while loved one's stood by anxiously, waiting for husbands, uncles, grandparents, and in many cases, all of the above

"He was ecstatic about it," said Betty Lendacky about her husband's trip.

"He was excited, so excited to go. It is a great, great honor," said Betty Barnacle about her father.

Families were asked to write letters for their veteran to read on the flight home for touching end to a long day.

"Letters meant so much to a serviceman," said Lennie Sobanja, who's husband Leonard was on the flight.

"We never would have poured out our hearts and really appreciated and thanked him for what he did," said Barnacle.

"You wanted it to mean so much to them," said Sobanja.

The trip and letters gave families a reason to openly talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of their experiences.

"He talks to the kids and told them everything," said Lendacky.

"He's starting to tell us stories that he kept to himself," said Barnacle.

The Honor Flight helped to pull families closer together while recognizing their heroes.

"I do love him. He's my best friend," said Sobanja of her husband.

"Hope he had a good time. I'm sure he did," said Lendacky.

"We are so, so proud of him," said Barnacle.

Organizers say it was likely the last Honor Flight Northland because there are not enough veterans left and able to go to have another flight at this time.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike
jpike@northlandsnewscenter.com