CAMANCHE — Two Camanche residents will join a group of local veterans taking part in the Honor Flight today from the Quad-City International Airport to Washington, D.C.
Brothers-in-law James Drury and Leroy Cleppe, both served in the Korean War — Cleppe with the United States Marine Corp. and Drury with the United States Army.
The two returned home after the war at the same time, and in a twist of fate, will take part in the Honor Flight together.
“I was an Army combat medic in the Korean War and Leroy was a Marine in the Korean War. We were there at the same time,” Drury said. “Now, we’re able to go on this Honor Flight at the same time. It’s kind of special.”
Once the Honor Flight arrives in Washington, D.C., a charter bus will take the 169 veterans from World War II and the Korean War, on a tour of the World War II Memorial, Air Force Memorial, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, Korean War Memorial and Vietnam Memorial before finishing at the Lincoln Monument.
“The bus trip is going to be fun, because we are going by so many things,” said Cleppe, adding that the Korean War Memorial will be a major highlight for his day.
Drury is also excited to see the Korean War Memorial, but experiencing the World War II Memorial is something that sticks out for him.
“The World War II Memorial is another highlight, because of the World War II veterans that served with us in Korea. They steered us and taught us and basically saved a lot of our lives because of their experiences with World War II,” Drury said. “We need to honor them as well, which is what this flight is going to do.”