Always Free Honor Flight’s Inaugural Trip

Always Free Honor Flight made West Virginia history as veterans, escorts, The Denver Foundation staff and

the press left Princeton, WV, heading to our nation’s capitol at 2:15 AM on Wednesday, June 6, 2012.

 Congressman Nick Rahall invited our veterans and escorts to the U.S. Capitol where we posed for a group photo on the Capitol steps. How handsome is this group, I ask you. What an honor to hang out with heroes for 24 hours on June 6, 2012.

The Always Free Honor Flight team was honored to “Wake Up with Joe” on this particular morning. He and his staff provided coffee and danish to our veterans as well as our veteran escorts. Joe Manchin Rocks! From l to r – Charlie Thomas, Dreama Denver, Senator Manchin,
Pam Coulbourne and Burke Allen. Not pictured, Steve Coleman, official photographer for Always Free Honor Flight and an intricate part of Team Denver.

Senator Manchin talks with our oldest WW II veteran Andy Semonco at the WW II Memorial. Andy was a French Embassy Chevalier recipient and one of the kindest heroes you’d ever want to meet.

Dreama Denver in the bowels of the capitol with some of our veterans. On the trip were 12 WW II vets, 3 Korean vets and 16 Viet Nam vets.

Senator Manchin with some of our heroes at the WV Pillar at the WW II Memorial. Can’t remember every name, but the senator’s right arm is around Al Hancock, president of the retired vets. In the back in the yellow shirt is Gary Bowling and the two on the right are Dave Simmons, state president of the Viet Nam Vets and with the camera around his neck, Pete Sternloff.