Honor Flight Visits White House
Lannie Henze of LaGrange was one of 28 veterans on The Great River Honor Flight on May 11. The trip was highlighted by a special invitation to visit the White House.
Henze went into the Army on Jan. 7, 1960 and was discharged Jan. 7, 1963. He spent 13 months in Korea. Henze said at that time Korea was still in the early stages of recovering from the war. He said during the early 1960s there was only one main highway in the country. He also spent time in Germany and Colorado.
Lannie and his wife, Carol, were married June 29, 1963 and will celebrate 60 years of marriage next month. They began dating before he went into the service and wrote letters to each other often while he was away. When he was stationed at Ft. Sheridan in upstate Illinois, he would hitchhike back to Quincy many weekends so they could see each other. It was easy for service men to get a ride.
The veterans on the 64th local Honor Flight were thoroughly taken care of during the flight and they made it easy for anyone, regardless of age or disability to be able to enjoy the trip. The group met days before the flight and learned what to expect. Each veteran has a guardian to accompany them on the trip, his son Scott, went on the trip with him. Lannie has previously been the guardian with his friend Gene Hutter twelve years ago.
The group left early in the morning from John Wood Community College bussed to St. Louis, landed in Baltimore and then bussed to Washington, DC. They visited the Vietnam Wall, and Arlington National Cemetery to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They missed a few of the usual stops because this flight was invited to the White House as part of the 50th Vietnam Commemoration Event.
At the White House, they were able to see six of the famous main rooms. Henze said everywhere they went on the trip, they were greeted with applause and cheers.
Lannie and Carol Henze live in LaGrange. They are very active. Lannie has been a councilman several times and Carol is currently on the LaGrange City Council They enjoy family and traveling. Henze said the entire trip was a great honor and encourages every veteran to take the opportunity to go on an Honor Flight.
Most of the veterans on this flight had served during the Vietnam era. The Great River Honor Flight has taken 2,066 veterans to Washington D.C. since 2009.
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