Father-son duo take ‘trip of a lifetime.’
HODGES | On October 15, 2016 Jessie Jones, Jr., of Hodges, and his son, Greg Jones, of Kenosha, Wis., went on a trip most fathers and sons would only dream about.
They are both members of the “Sons of the American Revolution” along with Greg’s son Jared. Jessie is a Korean War Veteran. Jessie and Gregory were able to go on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., courtesy of the Stars And Stripes Honor Flight organization of Port Washington, Wis. The group flies veterans free of charge to see their memorials in the nation’s capital, but they must have a guardian, hence Greg’s participation in the trip.
Jessie applied for the trip and Greg applied to be his guardian. Both were accepted and chosen to go together. There were a total of 91 veterans, which included 88 men and 3 women who went on the trip. Of these, 20 were World War II veterans, 70 Korean War veterans and one terminally ill Vietnam veteran. They were from 3 different states, Wisconsin, Illinois and Alabama. The oldest person aboard was age 96; the youngest was 74. There are other honor flight hubs that do the same from different states, including one in Tuscaloosa.
Jessie chose this organization because Greg and most of the Jones family live in Wisconsin and Illinois. They had a wonderful trip together, seeing the World War II Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial along with other sites. They were also privileged to go to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to see the changing of the guards. When they returned, there was a parade inside the General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wis., with approximately 1,500 people cheering them on as they arrived back from their trip waving their American flags and holding their banners with tears and excitement.
Jessie and his wife, Olva, travelled from Hodges to Milwaukee to be a part of this event. They had lived in Zion, Illinois for more than 40 years before moving back to Alabama. Both father and son said it was an event of a lifetime.