Honor Flight of Eastern Oregon and Portland – September 18-22, 2013

On September 18 – 22  Post member Joe Gamiao served as a Guardian for Post Guest Joseph Sequito on a trip to Washington D.C. for Bend Heroes Foundation, Honor Flight of Eastern Oregon and Portland.   (http://bendheroes.org/)  Organizers were Erik Tobiason, Dennis McMahon, and Eric Dencer of Bend, Oregon.  50 Veterans came from Portland and Eastern Oregon.

Joseph Sequito (91) is an Army veteran of World War II from August 1944 to November 1946 and served as a sniper.  Joseph was a witness to the Pearl Harbor bombing.  He is a member of VFW Post 1572, lst Filipino Infantry Regiment of Waipahu, Oahu, Hawaii.  Joe Gamiao is a career Air Force veteran (1965-1985) and a member of Tualatin VFW Post 3452.  Both VFW members are from Oahu, Hawaii.

Joe G. served as a Guardian for two other veterans besides Joseph.  The journey started on September 18 at the Shilo Inn Suites in Portland where the veterans and their Guardians stayed the night.  They boarded their flight at 6:00 a.m. on the 19th and flew to Chicago Midway International Airport.  They were greeted by USO representatives and other Veteran members of different organizations for a lunch.  On their flight from Chicago to Dulles Airport in Washington D.C. the flight attendants wore uniforms to look like stewardesses of the 1940’s.

They arrived at Dulles airport at 4:05 p.m. and were bussed to Crown Plaza Alexandria in Virginia.  After checking in, they relaxed and enjoyed a dinner later on.

Friday, the 20th, the veterans were taken to the WWII Memorial for ceremonies and photographs.  Joe G. says there was a tour group of school children who greeted the veterans and had their picture taken with them.  The children thanked the veterans for their service to our country.  From there they were taken to the Capitol building and greeted by Senator Greg Walden, representative for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District.  They ate a buffet lunch.  After lunch they toured other military monuments for the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.  They returned to their hotel for a dinner.  Joseph is a dancer and entertains folks at the Tualatin Commons concerts during the summer.  He entertained the veterans by doing a hula dance.

Saturday, the 21st, the veterans were taken to the Lincoln Memorial and were allowed to wander for two hours.  They had lunch at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.  After lunch they went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and dedicated a wreath there.  It was also a very wet day.  They visited the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial Wall.  It was a long day for them and a lot of sharing back at the hotel.

Sunday, the 22nd, the veterans left Washington D.C. at 8:50 a.m.  They had a stop in Denver and was provided lunch by the USO there.  They arrived in Portland to a gathering of veteran groups at 1:30 p.m.  It was a journey they will talk about for the remainder of their lives.

Photos:  Joseph Sequito and Joe Gamiao; Joan and Joseph Sequito; Jack Burtch, Joseph Sequito, Dan Jackson

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