Veterans celebrate victory, heal old wounds on Flag City Honor Flight

Veterans celebrate victory, heal old wounds on Flag City Honor Flight
(Source: WTOL)

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTOL) - On Wednesday, 79 veterans of three wars took off on a flight to Washington DC to revisit memories of victory and loss.

Betty Casselman has seen much in her 102 years. But perhaps nothing can quite compare to her time serving in the Marines during WWII.

Casselman enlisted in the US Marine Corps during the war. She did because she had a teaching background.

She spent her years of service instructing pilots, not how to fly a plane, but how to return safely.

"The difference between enemy and friendly, which was important," Casselman said. "Not just planes, but ships."

While many of the monuments in Washington DC are beautiful and grand, the Vietnam Memorial is perhaps the most somber.

Along a wall are the names of 58,000 Americans who never returned him.

Moine Allgire, who spent 10 years in the Navy during the war, was one of the lucky ones. However, he never truly made peace with his time in the service until Wednesday.

"Today makes it all seem worthwhile.  After we came back, our country didn't appreciate us," Allgire said. "But this makes it all worthwhile."

After visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, perhaps America's most hallowed shrine, at the end of his day, Allgire says his healing is finally beginning.

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