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Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives sponsor veterans for Honor Flight

Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are excited to announce Honor Flight 2023 will depart Blue Grass Airport this Saturday, Sept. 16 for Washington, D.C. The flight will transport 68 Kentucky veterans to see their memorials on the National Mall. A welcome home reception is scheduled for approximately 8:15 p.m. at the airport. The public is invited to attend. 

This is the 12th year the cooperatives have sponsored an Honor Flight. Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives began working with Honor Flight in 2010 to honor Kentucky’s veterans. 

This flight will carry one World War II, eight Korean War veterans and two women veterans, who will be inducted into the Military Women’s Memorial during the trip. The other veterans served our country during the Vietnam War. Two Purple Heart recipients are amongst the veterans on this trip.

“I’m proud of my service and I’d do it all over again,” said Harrison County resident and Purple Heart recipient Barry Gene Roseberry, who was wounded in Vietnam in August of 1969 with six weeks left in his tour. “I feel very lucky. I got a piece of shrapnel in my wrist and had a hunk taken out of my leg.”

Jim Rains, a Whitley County cattle farmer, was severely wounded in Vietnam both by shrapnel from bombs and bullet wounds in 1969. Numerous scars on his body are a testimony to his bravery, resilience, and service to his country. Rains received the Purple Heart as a result of his wounds. 

What Rains said he remembers the most about Vietnam, and Da Nang specifically, where he spent most of his time, were “the weather, the heat, the rain, the jungle, and the mosquitoes.”

The 2023 mission will again be coordinated by Honor Flight Kentucky. “It’s a privilege to be able to fly these veterans to their memorials, and it’s an opportunity to repay them in some small way for their service to our nation and our community,” said Joe Settles, Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Member Services Manager. 

“Honor Flight is a significant part of Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives’ commitment to our local communities,” Settles said. 

As in years past, veterans will fly from Lexington to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., where they will board buses for a full day of honors and sightseeing. 

The day includes viewing the changing-of-the-guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Honor Flight representatives will participate in a wreath-laying service at the tomb.

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