Mr. Haskins goes to Washington

WWII Memorial in D.C. / Photo by: Chad Douglas

The not for profit group Honor Flight is a group of volunteers that takes World War Two veterans to the World War Two Memorial in Washington D-C before it's too late.

Hundreds of World War Two veterans die every day.

This past weekend, KHQA's Chad Douglas was honored to take an Honor Flight with 38 veterans.

One of whom was Al Haskins from Hannibal.

"We were on our way to Japan for an invasion when the atomic bomb was dropped," says Al Haskins.

Al Haskins served this country in the United States Navy some 60 years ago. This past Saturday, he saw for the first time the memorial built in honor of men just like him.

"Everybody ought to come here and actually see what they give for them. To be able to walk through here. They gave their life to be able to walk through here. There would be swastikas up here instead of wreaths," says Haskins.

From my perspective, it was truly amazing to watch these 38 men set foot on this memorial. The funny thing is, they don't see it as a memorial to them, but to other veterans who fought in the war. I was in the company of bombers, pilots, and prisoners of war. And I wasn't the only one humbled by their presence. Several tourists to the memorial, stopped and thanked these men for their service.

"I never dreamed that people would care that much. For instance, coming off the plane, then lining up and blessing us for serving," says Haskins.

This was the scene as Haskins and the other veterans got of the plane at the Baltimore airport. This weekend's honor flight was the last one for the year for the Franklin County chapter. They will start up again in the spring. This last flight was thrown together at the last minute. Haskins got the call just a week before the flight left. His daughter had sent in an application for him two or three years ago.

"I'm grateful to my daughter that she was thankful of me, and proud of me that she put my name in," says Haskins.

She's not the only one who's proud of these veterans. They were also greeted by former Senator Bob Dole, and his wife current Senator Elizabeth Dole at the memorial. I'm told former Senator Dole never misses the chance to meet his fellow veterans whenever an honor flight comes to town.