WASHINGTON, D.C. (KELO) — Midwest Honor Flight has flown over a thousand veterans to Washington D.C. throughout the years. But the missions are starting to see fewer World War II vets.
Anthony Reidell was the only veteran on this past weekend’s flight who served in World War II. The 99-year-old says vets from his era are disappearing but it’s events like these that make sure they are never forgotten.
Reidell was just 18 years old when he joined the Army in 1940. He served as a Tech Sergeant within the European Theater until 1945. Then as a Master Sergeant in the Air Force during the Korean War.
“Just thinking about how he was younger than me when he joined and he was over there in Italy fighting to… fighting to keep us safe,” Alexander Reidell, grandson, said.
Alexander is Reidell’s grandson, he lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. When he found out his grandfather would be in D.C., he decided to join him.
“We don’t get to see him too often (laugh),” said Anthony Reidell, WWII and Korean War Veteran.
“It really sounded like he was happy I was here, that he really appreciated that I could come out,” Alexander said.
As the duo toured the memorials, Tony reminisced about his service during the wars…
“I think about some of the things, some of the guys we lost,” Anthony said.
And the men who died on the battlefield.
“I miss them…yeah..just sorry they didn’t come home… I do think about them often,” Anthony said.
Anthony says he is grateful and flattered to be chosen to come on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
“I think it meant quite a lot to him, that people valued what he did and care about what he sacrificed,” Alexander said.
“It’s a wonderful trip and the people putting it on are just tops,” Anthony said.
Reidell will be turning 100 next month on the 15th.