Jim Hubatch, former fire chief here, joined the Honor Flight on Monday|
|Jim Hubatch, a retired Antigo Fire Chief and veteran, flew to Washington D.C. on Monday with the Never Forgotten Honor Flight. He was accompanied by his son, David Hubatch, as guardian. |
Hubatch served in the Air Force with the 581st Air Resupply Squadron from July 1953 to July 1957 in the Philippine Islands, Okinawa, Africa and Florida where he worked as a reciprocating engine mechanic.
In Washington D.C., at the monuments, David Hubatch, had the privilege of presenting a photo of recently deceased Roman Menting, who was scheduled to go on this flight, and his flag, to the local veterans who saluted their comrade. Menting died just weeks ago.
The senior Hubatch said the trip was a very moving experience. He said that he has not been to Washington, D.C. for about 35 years and the memorials were not yet built.
The WWII, Korean and Vietnam memorials are very impressive, he added
“You stop and think about your fallen comrades and the sacrifices they made,” he said.
He explained he enjoyed meeting and visiting with all the other vets. They could talk about old times and compare notes.
Hubatch said it was an “amazing experience.”
He explained the volunteers are super and they made us all “feel special.”
The entire pre and post-flight programs are run like a well oiled machine, he said.
“Everything is on time. Everyone is cheerful. The activities are well planned and food is excellent,” he said.
Boy Scouts greeted the veterans at the motel door and Howard Johnson provided free lodging,. Students who wrote letters and the people that put together the Operation Gratitude boxes, the band and musicians at the airport, the entertainment chorus, singers, accordian player, the many service and military organizations, the photographers, the TV channels, our spouses and friends, the doctors and medical personnel, the Sun Country Airline along with pilots and hostesses, the town of Wausau, the riders who provided an escort and anyone I forgot made it a memorable trip, he said.
“What a wonderful experience,” Hubatch said. “Thank you to everyone involved and to the Honor Flight people for selecting me to join this 13th Honor Flight. It is something that I will always remember.”
Dave Hubatch and his father Monday in front of the Iwo Jima marine monument in Washington, D.C.
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