The 3 Men Behind Honor Flight
September 12, 2011, 7:37 PM
SIOUX FALLS, SD -
It took thousands of dollars and countless hours to get each flight off the ground. And three men made the flight flight possible.
Long before anyone stepped off the D.C. bus, Dave Landry, Larry Rohrer and Rick Tubber were all on the front lines, behind the scenes.
"We told one that two were in and the other two that one was in and lucky they didn't compare notes and lucky they were willing, but concerned to raise that kind of money," Landry said.
"Dave and I were trying to figure out day by day what to do next so the idea wouldn't die," Rohrer said.
"Trying to organize this from Sioux Falls and you're talking to people in D.C. and there's things that we can't control like weather and D.C. Traffic," Tupper said.
"I remember when the plane pushed back from the first flight. That was a milestone when the door was closed and we pushed back from the gate," Rohrer said.
The group expected to raise about $400,000 for three flights. And, $1.5 million later, they had sent more than 1,400 of America's Greatest Generation to see their memorial.
"I don't know if we could ever repay them for what they did. So this is our way of stepping forward as a nation and just saying thank you," Tupper said.
A big thanks, that seemed at times like a full-time job just to orchestrate, but that none would ever give up.
"Not only did we provide a great trip for WWII Vets, but we, I think, elevated the awareness of not only WWII, but all veterans," Landry said.
© 2011 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.
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