WASHINGTON (KELO) — Prior to last Wednesday’s Midwest Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C., a pair of twins had never been among the veterans honored by the organization on a flight to see the landmarks of the nation’s capital. Wednesday’s trip, however, included two sets of twins.
Midwest Honor Flight’s 10th mission celebrated 84 veterans from the Korean or Vietnam War-eras on Wednesday. Among them were twins Dean Beitelspacher and Gene Beitelspacher, who experienced the day together.
“We did it in Vietnam, and we did it here today again, too,” Gene said.
The 76-year-old Air Force veterans each live in Le Mars, Iowa.
“We’ve worked together all our lives,” Dean said. “We farm together.”
It’s a similar story for twins Ron Damstra and Don Damstra.
“We did that for many years, we worked close together every day for 32 years, so it wasn’t anything different,” Ron said.
The Army veterans are 75 years old. Ron lives in Orange City, Iowa, and Don lives in Boyden, Iowa.
“Being part of the, all these veterans, in a group, you get a bond with them, especially when you all served in the same theater at one point in time, maybe 50 years ago, but you still have a bond, even if you don’t, if you’re strangers, to each other,” Don said.
“Being together as twin brothers on this Honor Flight, and both of us each having only one son, and our sons being our guardians today made it a very special day,” Ron said.
Brothers, whether twins or otherwise, are at the heart of these trips.
“These are all our other brothers and sisters here on the Honor Flight today, so to say, as veterans,” Ron Damstra said.
“The way this Honor Flight is set up, it’s just unreal how they take care of everybody, it is,” Dean Beitelspacher said.