Three Corcoran World War II veterans were on the most recent Honor Flight that visited Washington, D.C. and its monuments. Invited for the three-day trip were Wayne Cavin, Vince Banales and Joe Godina.
Each was accompanied by a family member “chaperone” as they took a whirlwind tour of the nation’s capitol. In addition to most of the war monuments in Washington, they took a trek to Arlington National Cemetery and were able to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Banales, who at 88 was the “youngster” of the group, said the memorials were all beautiful. Even more touching was the respect with which the vets were treated.
“It was very touching,” he said.
Some of the highlights for the group included the Lincoln Memorial, the Iwo Jima marines statue, the Air Force US Navy Memorial and memorials to vets from Viet Nam—the wall—and Korea. The significance of each design was explained to the veterans on their guided tour. Of course, the memorial that was most important for them to see was their own—The World War II Memorial.
“I found it the most touching. I loved the reflecting pool and the pillars erected for every state,” noted Banales.
The group also got to visit the Smithsonian as part of the trip.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Banales. “I am very thankful I got to go. All of us appreciate the Central Valley Honor Flight program”
Banales was accompanied by his son, Ezekial. Traveling with Godina was his daughter Olga Gallegos and with Cavin was his daughter Louise Nichols.