FALLBROOK – Three World War II veterans residing in Fallbrook were selected for a recent ‘Honors Flight’ trip to Washington DC.
Brad Bennett, Don Foulkes, and Andrew Genninger made the trip Oct. 5 through 7.
Bennett, a career Navy officer, served in the Pacific Theater.
Foulkes served in the 15th Air Force as a bombardier on a B-24. Foulkes was shot down on his 28th mission and spent seven months as a prisoner of war.
Genninger, a Marine Corps veteran, served 444 days in the Pacific and was recalled to the Corps for service during the Korean War (1950-1952) and served in Viet Nam in 1965.
Each of the veterans was able to bring a ‘guardian’ along on the trip.
The veterans departed from San Diego on a chartered plane and flew to Baltimore.
“As we exited the plane and started down the concourse, both sides of the concourse were lined with uniformed veterans, many, many civilians and all were saluting, shaking hands, and greeting each with respect,” said Foulkes. “It brought many to tears. We were completely humbled and overwhelmed.”
Foulkes and Genninger said the recognition was repeated when the plane returned to San Diego.
“As it was in Baltimore, we also had a tear-jerking grand reception at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field,” said Genninger.
All three veterans said they were humbled and honored to visit the various war memorials.
“And during our visits to the memorials, we were continually saluted and recognized,” said Foulkes.
‘Honors Flight’ is a non-profit organization that provides the trips for the purpose of making it possible for veterans of WW II to visit the memorials which are crafted to remember the sacrifice of each participant.