Five Door County Vets Take Honor Flight To Washington D.C.
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
By Nick Freimuth
The latest “Wisconsin Honor Flight” took a total of 117 Wisconsin area Vietnam veterans to Washington D.C. and Dennis Ott of Sturgeon Bay was one of the retired military members selected. Ott was one of five Door County vets to travel to D.C. The plane left from Oshkosh during the EAA and returned that same day after the group toured the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and The Smithsonian.
Emotions poured over throughout the entire event, Ott said. He could not believe how he was greeted by people everywhere they went.
Honor Flight 1
On the plane ride home mail call has become a staple of the great ‘Honor Flight’ program. Every veteran receives a package of letters from friends, family and even some strangers, Ott said. (Ott received between 40 and 50 letters)
Honor Flight 2
The Vietnam veterans were shocked to hear that American Airlines donated the plane and all costs of the flight. Dennis said what impressed him most was that the entire crew and the pilots also donated their time.
The welcome home ceremony was by far the most amazing, according to the retired military member. Ott described the scene.
Honor Flight 3
After exiting the airfield the veterans were then provided with front row seats to see the Lieutenant Dan Band with Gary Sinise. Tony Orlando then called Dennis Ott to the stage as he was the only one of the 117 veterans that served in two different wars (Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm/Shield).
Dennis is famous for saying that he is not a hero. All the heroes never made it home, according to Ott, who was hesitant to go on this Honor Flight. The way the Vietnam vets were treated when coming home the first time still hurts Ott. He agreed that the warm welcome “was better late than never.”
To hear Dennis Ott’s full length interview on “The Country Music Morning Show With Nick Freimuth” click on the audio link below.