By Tim Kowols
Luxemburg resident and Vietnam veteran Chuck Wagner got the experience of a lifetime Thursday as a passenger of the 43rd Old Glory Honor Flight. Joining other northeast Wisconsin veterans, Wagner flew out of Appleton in the early morning hours for a day trip to Washington, D.C. before returning home to a packed airport with friends and family. Emotions were riding high as Wagner paid tribute to four friends and a distant relative from Egg Harbor at the Vietnam War Memorial, but says tissues were needed as he read letters from loved ones on the trip home.
Wagner remarked on the stark contrast between the celebration waiting for his fellow veterans at the airport Thursday and his homecoming from the Vietnam War itself when many soldiers were insulted and ridiculed when they came home. Old Glory Honor Flight has flown over 3,500 veterans to see the memorials in Washington D.C. since the program’s inception in 2009.