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Area Vietnam vets get warm welcome home from DC

American flagMany area Vietnam combat veterans were among the 500 Nebraskans who were part of the honor flight to Washington, DC, on Monday, June 6.
They left Omaha’s Eppley Airfield early on Monday morning, and toured many sites in the nation’s capitol before returning Monday evening.
They returned to a very warm welcome by thousands who waited for them at Eppley. Reports from the returning vets indicated they very much appreciated the trip and the welcoming crowds, both in Washington, DC, and in Omaha.
Those on the flight from the Boone County area included:
• Albion: George Christo, Jr., Frank Fross, Jerry Hagemann, Gene Hilmer and Albert VanDeWalle;
• Cedar Rapids: Larry Buechter and Ronald Braun;
• Primrose: Bob Diessner, Ken McIntyre and Ron Weltruski;
• St. Edward: Duane Chilson, Neal Kemper, Jim Kurtenbach and Jerome Tenski;
• Newman Grove: Robert Flood and Charles Flood.
• Lindsay: David Arlt, Charles Borg, Dan Jarecki, Ed Luetkenhaus, Kent Preister, Terrence Schaecher;
• Greeley: Richard Rech, Jr.
A Pre-Flight Dinner was held Sunday evening, June 5, at Embassy Suites in LaVista.
The veterans visited the Vietnam War Memorial, as well as the Korean War, World War II, Iwo Jima and Air Force Memorials, and visited Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
While the veterans were on the trip, their wives and girlfriends were treated to several tours in and around Omaha.
The trip was arranged and fund raising handled by Patriotic Productions, operated by Bill and Evonne Williams in Omaha.