HonorAir Knoxville Flight 29 departed McGhee Tyson Airport Wednesday morning bound for Washington, DC, with 131 veterans, volunteer escorts, team leaders and support personnel. The veterans spent their day visiting military and other memorials in the nation’s capital.
Those traveling from Cumberland County were:
Gordon Kinney, U.S. Navy, World War II
Leonard Durham, U.S. Navy, Korea
Larry Doster, U.S. Army, Vietnam
Donald Foster, U.S. Army, Vietnam
Fed Carlson, U.S. Army, Vietnam
Ed DeMars, U.S. Navy, Vietnam
Gary Doud, U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam
Ed Maxwell, U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam
Martin Mulligan, U.S. Army, Vietnam
James Foote, U.S. Army, Vietnam
Bob Holyfield, U.S. Army, Vietnam
Larry McNamara, U.S. Navy, Vietnam
Jerry Daniels, U.s. Navy, Vietnam
William Butera, U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam
John Rife, U.S. Navy, Vietnam
John Schaefer, U.S. Navy, Vietnam
Pat Gettman, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam
Chuck Ginkinger, U.S. Marine Corps, Vietnam
Jerry Collier, U.S. Navy, Vietnam
Steve Brady, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam
George Lowery Jr., U.S. Air Force, Vietnam
Escorts for veterans were Alex Alenitsch, Shawn Brunelle, Bob Emrick, Mike Sprenger and Gus Gocella, the HonorAir coordinator for Cumberland County.
Premier Transportation provided a bus to transport veterans from Crossville to Knoxville and back home again. The Crossville Fire Department used its ladder truck to hoist the U.S. flag over Peavine Rd. while Cumberland County and city first responders provided an escort to the bus.
Resident Korean War veteran Joe White greeted the bus playing his bugle. Other residents waved flags and signs welcoming the veterans home. Some were family members of the veterans while others were community members taking the time to say thank you to the veterans for their service.
“Many of our veterans did not receive a welcome home when they came home from their war, and this tribute helps heal some of those memories and wounds,” Gocella said. “They appreciate your presence."