Honor Flight races to get WWII veterans to national memorial

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Earl Davis fought in Normandy three weeks after D-Day in 1944.

"In the hedgerows, part of the time I was a scout, to go out and find the enemy," he told KVAL News.

He survived the war, survived his wounds - and got a chance to reflect on his wartime memories last fall at the national World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., thanks to Honor Flight.

"It lets the world know what we went through for the greatest generation," Davis said of the memorial. "A lot of people suffered."

But time is running out for veterans World War II to visit the memorial erected in their honor. An estimated 40 veterans of the war die every day in Oregon.

Fifteen local veterans who had signed up for an Honor Flights trip died before they could go.

"One of the gentlemen that was scheduled to go with us passed away 2 weeks ago," said Mike Pungercar of Springfield.

Pungercar signed up as manager of the new Honor Flights South Willamette Valley chapter. He wants to make sure more vets can make the trip to the memorial before time runs out.

He said the veterans react to the memorial in a common way. "We really didn't do anything. We just did our jobs," Pungercar said. "It's a very humble generation."

Pungercar said 75 senior Oregon veterans in Lane, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties have already signed up to go to D.C.

The first flight by the new chapter will be in October, but they need donations. You can contribute at any branch of Umpqua Bank.


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