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Stars & Stripes Honor Flight starts book club

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Stars and Stripes Honor Flight (SSHF) will host its first ever book club discussion on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. at Concordia University in Mequon, when local Korean War veterans will lead a panel discussion on the book “Devotion” by Adam Makos.

Makos will “virtually” attend the Feb. 27 meeting via Skype, and will provide questions and discussion topics on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Facebook page throughout the month of February.
“Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is known far and wide for their service to our aging WWII veterans, and it warmed my heart to learn that now Korean War veterans, in increasing numbers, are settling into seats on their planes for Honor Flights,” Makos said.  “Some of these men and women have lived their whole lives believing that their sacrifices went unnoticed, as if their war didn’t matter.  Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is righting this wrong.  They’re giving our Korean War veterans the final salute they deserve and they’re doing it on our behalf…on behalf of a grateful nation.”
Makos’ book, “Devotion”, tells the inspirational true story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Korean War Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend.  As the Marines on ground at the Chosin Reservoir are cornered, Tom and Jesse and their Naval aviator comrades lead a desperate aerial assault to save them.  When one of the two pilots is shot down, the other attempts a heroic rescue against the orders of his superior.
The group of Korean War veterans reading along and helping to lead the discussion both online and at the February meeting includes Silver Star recipient and Medal of Honor nominee Glenn Dohrmann of Cedarburg, who was a rifle company commander and was wounded three times in battle. Other Korean War Marines and Navy veterans will also be sharing their experiences.
 “At Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, our primary mission is to fly WWII and Korean War veterans, along with terminally ill veterans of any conflict, on one day, all-expenses-paid trips to see their memorials,” said Karyn Roelke, publicity chair for SSHF.  “However, we also actively promote educational aspects of this mission.  We feel that it is incredibly important to call attention to the service and sacrifices of our veterans of the “Forgotten War” before it is too late to thank them.  We hope that encouraging people to read and discuss this book with local Korean War veterans will bring about a new level of appreciation and understanding for their service and heroism.”
Korean War veterans who served stateside or outside the Korean peninsula during the conflict will also be reading along and present at the final event.
On a side note – here’s a request from book club organizer Karyn.
I’m still recruiting vets for the event, and only have about five so far.  I am specifically looking for vets who served on the Korean Peninsula, particularly Marines or Navy guys on carriers.  Anyone who has a vet who might want to be on the panel should have them call me at 815-378-5819.
Also anyone who wants to attend should sign up on Facebook or email me at [email protected] so I can know how many are coming and how big of a room I need.  I have been saying “the event is free but reservations are required by 2/15.”
Thanks so much!!  Hope to see you there!
Honor Flight is a national program with more than 130 hubs from coast to coast.  The WWII Memorial did not open until 2004 and many veterans are unable to visit it without assistance.  Nationally, hubs in the Honor Flight network have taken well over 150,000 veterans to see their memorials. Stars and Stripes Honor Flight has honored more than 4,100 veterans from southeastern Wisconsin since 2008.


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