As of the April 30 – May 2, 2023, Veterans Honor Flight trip, the organization has flown approximately 1,877 WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans to Washington, D.C.

The spring 2023 flight consisted of 99 Veterans:

  • 50 Korean/Korean Era
  • 49 Vietnam
  • 64 Army 
  • 21 Navy
  • 3 Marine Corps 
  • 11 Air Force 

Honor Flight recognizes American veterans for their service and sacrifices by flying them to Washington, D.C., to see memorials at no cost. Priority is given to World War II Veterans who haven’t seen their memorial, followed by Korean War veterans, Vietnam War veterans, and terminally ill veterans from all wars.

Guardians fly with the Veterans on every flight, helping them have a safe, memorable, and rewarding experience.

Greater Pelican Rapids area veterans who enjoyed the spring 2023 honor flight included: 

Drew A. Emanuel US Army SP5

I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, and am now a proud resident of Tamarac Lake near Pelican Rapids. I was drafted into the Army in 1966 and stayed in until 1968.

When I finished basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington, I served in the 73rd Armor out of Fort Beavers, Korea. There, I worked as a personnel specialist, company clerk, and a gunner on a tank performing night patrols along the DMZ. I’m very proud of my swift promotions and being accepted to the U.S. Army Finance School. I also really enjoyed the two months I spent at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, retrieving drones in the experimental program toward the end of my service.

After my discharge from the Army, I attended NDSU, where I majored in history and business. I went on to own four high-volume liquor operations and was the manager of Orton Oil Co.

Edward A. “Blondie” Fjestad   US Army  E-5

 I served in the Army from July 1967 through July 1970. I graduated from basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington. I then spent time as both a cook and a Jeep driver stationed with the 602nd Command Engineers in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. Serving my country and going to Vietnam are both things I’m very proud of.

 I’m a member of VFW Post 5252 in Pelican Rapids.

Charles M. “Chuck” Grani   US Navy  E-4

I grew up in Hawley, Minnesota, and am happy to still call the area home. I served in the Navy from October 1964 through August 1967, after graduating from basic training at San Diego. I was assigned to Electronic CVA-62 in Norfolk, Virginia. I worked in radar as an electronic tech. My most memorable time in the Navy was going to Vietnam, meeting up with my twin brother, and helping out there.

After the Navy, I went to work for Bell Telephone Co. and later the Rapat Corp., both in Hawley.

I am a member of the VFW in Moorhead.

Gerald T. Ohe  U’S Army.  SP4

I was born and raised in Rothsay, Minnesota, and now live in Moorhead. I joined the Army in 1958 and was in until 1960. I spent basic training at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Afterward, I was a company clerk in the 598 Transportation Co. based out of Fort Eustis, Virginia. After the Army, I worked in accounting and administration for many years, eight of which were at Tallman Oil, and then was with Eide Bailly for 30 more.

Dale R. Salberg.  US Army. E-4

I am from Davenport, North Dakota, and currently live in Dent. I joined the Army in 1970 and served until 1972. I spent my time in basic training at Fort Lewis,  Washington. After training, I was stationed at Shi Hung Compound, Korea, where I served as the S-1 Personnel Clerk with HHB 7 B.N. Hawk 2D EUSA. Serving in the JAG office at White Sands Missile Range was a real thrill!

After the Army, I worked my way through various education jobs, from teacher to Superintendent of Schools.

I’m a member of the VFW and American Legion.

Read More: Vietnam veteran Fjestad warmly welcomed home from ‘Honor Flight’

Column: Another Vietnam vet gone, Chuck Berg