Family Members Join Veterans on Korean War Honor Flight

Washington, D.C. -- When 460 Korean War Veterans made the trip to Washington, D.C. this week, they weren't alone, many family members joined them to share in the special moments.

Sticking together, it's a theme that's woven into many veterans and their families.

Ruben Kavan a Korean War veteran from Morse Bluff had his three daughters fly out to D.C., while his two sons stayed in Nebraska and made sure he got to and from Omaha. He said, "They're my backbone, without them I wouldn't do much."

Ruby Urban, one of Ruben's daughters said, "It's been fun to have our whole family involved in this to get dad here."

While in D.C., his daughters surprised him with special shirts, to make him feel special. They wanted to make sure he didn't see our nation's capitol alone.

Deann Kavan said, "Just thinking he was going to be away from the family, he's used to traveling with the family."

But Ruben wasn't alone, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and cousins, joined the Korean War veterans as they saw all the different memorials.

Roley Isom's son and granddaughter made the trip to D.C. He said, "My son, he serves in the Air Force. He served in Korea after I did."

Master Sgt. Bradley Isom is stationed in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy. He said, "It's very interesting, it brings back a lot of memories of being in Korea, as far as the setting, even from my time compared to my dad's time I'm sure."

For Edsel Matousek, it was three generations reuniting in Washington D.C. for the first time in seven years.

Edsell said the best part of the trip, "Just to have the two of them with me."

His son Phil Matousek added, "You never know what at a certain age someone is going to pass, so being able to spend a great time with him, and actually for him and for what he did for us and our country, it's awesome."

One of the messages of the honor flight is to share and tell a story, not only with their family members, but also with younger generations to keep their legacy alive.

Phil Matousek felt it was important to bring his 12-year-old son, Joey, on the trip, to not only see his grandfather, but also to learn history from the people who lived it.

Phil said, "You don't just learn history from books."

Joey added, "It's awesome to see the history of America and tell people the stories of what I learned."

Honor Flight volunteer Rick Lienemann said his father served in WWII and passed away without ever sharing his war stories with him, which is why Rick wants to make sure these Korean War veterans don't do the same.

Lienemann said, "What compels me to be apart of these honor flights is to get these guys to open up and talk about it. We encourage that when they go home, to please share that with their families, that they can tell their kids, tell their grand kids."