Valley City Veteran participates in ND/MN Honor Flight
By Tami Olsen VCTR Correspondent Writer
Local Valley City Veteran Elwood. H. Wendt (or as his friends know him - Woody), got to take his place on the ND/MN Honor Flight April 30 through May 2. Originally from Perham, Minnesota, Woody has spent ‘around the last 63 years living in Valley City’ with his wife Rose. Together they have two children, six grandchildren, and three greatgrandchildren. The Times-Record had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Woody, and his wife, about his life and his experience with the Honor Flight.
Woody was part of the North Dakota Army National Guard as an E-5. “I volunteered for the draft and then began my service in May 1958. I spent my basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Afterward, I was stationed out of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where I worked in construction, drafting and drawing up plans for bridges, buildings and airports. My service ended in May 1964. I loved being so close to Washington D.C. while I was in the military. After my discharge, I worked in the construction field for 30 years before buying the company. Additionally, I built and opened storage buildings,” said Wendt.
Woody shared that he was very excited to get to go on this trip with his son Mike, even though he had spent a lot of his service time around the DC area. “Getting to go back I was surprised to see all of the green open spaces. You would think you would see things more packed in, being so populated, but it was nice seeing there was still lots of open areas,” said Wendt. Both Woody and his wife talked about how well taken care of the Veterans were during their threeday trip. Everything was very well planned out and even the smallest details were accommodated. As of this trip the Veterans Honor Flight of ND/ MN had flown 1,877 WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, D.C. On this flight there were 99 male Veterans that were sent with 50 from the Korean Era and 49 from the Vietnam Era. 64 Veterans were Army, 21 Navy, 3 Marine Corps, and 11 Air Force.
The mission of the Honor Flight recognizes American Veterans by sending them, at no cost, to visit the memorials. Priority for these flights are given to WWII Veterans, followed by Korean War Veterans, Vietnam Veterans, and any terminally ill Veterans from any war. These trips are all made possible by donations. Many different individuals, organi
zations, corporations, and fundraising events help to gain enough funds to help send Veterans on these trips. Guardians are able to attend the trips with the Veterans in order to help them get around to the sites and have a safe and memorable time. If you would like to make a donations, they can be sent to the Veterans Honor Flight of ND/ MN, PO Box 644, West Fargo, ND 58078.
“There was probably around 700-1000 people there at the Fargo Airport when we returned home from the trip to welcome us back. It was really amazing to see that many people there in support of us Veterans” said Wendt. Woody and Rose are also actively involved with the AMVETS in Valley City and have spent a lot of time helping out Veterans all over.
Alberta Newspaper Group