Korean Vets Take Their Honor Flight

By Ellen Sussman Special to the Green Valley News Apr 6, 2016

On April 23, two Green Valley veterans who served during the Korean War will leave with Honor Flight Southern Arizona on trip #21 to Washington, D.C.

On May 21, five more Korean War veterans will take the trip. The trips include a total of 25 World War II and Korean-era veterans along with their guardians from Southern Arizona.

Honor Flight is a national non-profit group that takes veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the monuments built in their honor. It's free for the veterans.
The program was focused on WWII veterans for about 10 years, until most passed on or took the trip. They will continue to have priority because of their age, but Honor Flight now is turning toward veterans of the Korean conflict.

April flight

•Werner Lawson, 83, served in the Army from January 1955 to April 1957. Fluent in German, he was sent to Germany where he was a personnel clerk and interpreter.
•John “Jack” Schlaefli, 81, served seven years from March 1954 to June 1961. His first service was with the Navy followed by the Marine Corps, where he was a pilot aboard the USS Lake Champlain in the Mediterranean.

May flight

•Glenn Barrall, 80, served three years in the Army, from June 1952 to June 1955. He was in Korea for 15 months and spent the balance of his service at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

•Peter Deering, 84, served two years in the Army from October 1953 to September 1955. Nine months of his service were in Korea with the balance spent in Honolulu well before Hawaii became a state on Aug. 21, 1959.

•Cleworth “Cle” Edgar, 86, served two years in the Army, from March 1951 to March 1953, as a surveyor in artillery. He spent eight months in Korea and didn’t get to see his daughter born. When he returned home, she was five months old. Edgar received a U.N. Service Medal.

•Janet Haeger, 81, joined the U.S. Navy at 18 and served close to seven years, from January 1953 to November 1959. As a Naval Corpsman she spent days at a time in Korea picking up the wounded and transporting them to a hospital. She also served at naval bases in the United States.

•Richard “Dick” Kern, 82, served in the Army from May 1953 to May 1955. After basic training at Fort Knox, Ky., the balance of his service time was in Korea.

Contact Green Valley freelance reporter Ellen Sussman at ellen2414@cox.net.