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Jensen presents Honors Flight program for Golden K

July 21, 2012
By ORICE WALTERS - For The Daily News , The Daily News

KINGSFORD - It was another beautiful day in this part of God's country as the Dickinson Area Golden K Club met on Monday morning, July 16 and sang some sunshiny songs. "On the Sunny Side of the Street, You are my sunshine and Wait Till the Sun Shines Nellie" to name a few.

Chairman of the month, Bruce Stuart, sounded the bell with gavel and the meeting opened with the pledge to the flag and singing of "God Bless America."

The birthday song was sung for Louise Swope and Shine Champeau both of Niagara, Wis.

Guests included Marcia Reed of Downey, Calif. with her dad, Al Galeazzi and Cody Reubens with his great-grandparents, Darlene and Jake Neuens. Young Cody also won the 50/50. Lucky little guy.

Membership certificates were given to Larry Juul and Ina Rumpf by chairman Stuart.

Bill Trudell reminded members to bring their Econo Foods and Super One receipts and their recyclable cans to club meetings. Bill also had a Thought for the Day. " Do not take life too seriously; You'll never get out of it alive." Now that is serious.

Happy Dollars help with raising funds for the clubs charitable activities. Harlan Walters is always happy to read the happy dollar thoughts from members. Many were happy with the great GK picnic last week and all who helped to make it great. Mary Jane "Lough" Nelson was happily looking forward to seeing all five of her children and their families as they celebrate her mothers 99th birthday this week in Gladstone. Paul Ward is happy for those who help with bingo at Hylands and Freemans Nursing Homes.

We are all happy and thankful for our veterans and all who protect our freedom.

Bill Trudell, program chairman introduced the speaker for the day, Golden K Veteran Walter "Whitey" Jensen of Kingsford. Walter told about being on the Upper Peninsula Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in September of 2011.

The Mission of the Honor Flight is to fly World War II Veterans to see the Memorial Monument that stands in their honor in Washington D.C. Walter got on the Honor Flight as a result of a man from Appleton noticing his World War II hat when he was at the Air Show in Oshkosh. The man sent Walter an application which he filled out on his military history and mailed it back to him. Since there wasn't any room for him with the Appleton/Oshkosh Honor Flight, someone told him about the U.P. Honor Flight. That's how he became a part of the U.P. Honor Flight. The Tour of Honor is free to the veteran.

As someone said, "They waited 60 years to see the memorial built to honor their efforts. Now that it is done, our mission is to get these brave soldiers out to Washington D.C. to see it." The youngest World War II Veterans are in their mid 80s.

During World War II, Walter served in the Army. He served in the Philippians and New Guinea. While in the Army some of his duties were the laying of Airfields, running Bulldozer and driving truck.

The honor trip to see the Memorial began on the VA bus from Iron Mountain to Escanaba. He flew from Escanaba to Milwaukee to Baltimore, Md. along with other World War II veterans. It also included trained volunteer guardian escorts who make a $500 tax deductible donation to pay their costs, and volunteer medical professionals. The trip from Escanaba to Baltimore took one hour and 35 minutes. There was a lot of fanfare for the veterans including music, bands, fire trucks, police cars at the airport.

Besides seeing the Memorial built to honor World War II Veterans like Walter, they also saw many of the very significant D. C. buildings, monuments, the Memorial Wall, and other Military Memorials. The tour took them to the White house, Capital Building, the Pentagon, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Women's Memorial at Arlington.

Walter showed pictures and the Back Pack each U.P. veteran received for the trip.

Inside were Honor Flight T-shirts, identification tags, a jacket, and a hat with U.P. monogram on it.

Seventy-five dollars was raised through a fundraiser for the Honor Flight. The Upper Peninsula Honor Flight is a 501(c) non-profit organization and is 100 percent volunteer. All donations received are used for the flight.

More than 1,000 World War II Veterans die each day. "We, as a nation, cannot, must not let this opportunity to express our gratitude to these heroes pass without action."

Those wishing to learn more, volunteer, or donate can email or call (906) 280-1471.

Our thanks to World War II Veteran Walter Jensen for his service to our country and for sharing this interesting experience as an Honor Flight participant to our nations capital. Walter is proud to be a veteran. He is also a proud father of three sons, Mike of Baraga, Fred of Munising, and Ted of Kingsford. Walter continues his service to our country, with many volunteer hours given at the local Oscar Johnson VA and in other community services.

The next Monday morning Golden K meeting is July 23, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Presbyterian Church in Kingsford. Visitors and guests are welcome.

The Golden Throats, with Scott Furlow on the keyboard and Margaret Trudell directing, will be singing at Evergreen Assisted Living on Wednesday, July 25.



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