“A once in-a-lifetime experience”.
This was the statement that Jerry Tunink, Alvin Schrage and Ray Dinslage repeated several times as they shared details of their day-long visit in Washington DC last Thursday. The Elgin trio were fortunate enough to be on one of the final flights of the Heartland Honor Flights program bringing veterans of World War II to Washington as a “thank you” for their dedication and service to the citizens of the United States during one of the most trying times in American history.
All three volunteered for service, Dinslage in September of 1942 and Tunink and Schrage both in May of 1944. They explained, unlike in the later stages of the war when many servicemen were drafted, volunteers were able to choose which branch of the armed forces they could serve in.
Ray Dinslage, Alvin Schrage and Jerry Tunink, all having served in World War II, flew to Washington D.C. last week on the Heartland Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial. E-R photo