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Sweet Home, Oregon
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November 7, 2012     The New Era Paper
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November 7, 2012
 

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:1t  r, - November 7, 2012 Page 11 Local veterans feel "humbled" by Honor Flight accolades By Sean C. Morgan Of The New Era In all his years, Hal Hennick has never felt so honored as he did visit- ing Washington, D.C. recently with the South Willamette Valley Oregon Honor Flight. Hennick and Merv Hanscam of Sweet Home were among World War II veterans flown to Washing- ton, D.C., Oct. 12-14. The Honor Flight Network was created to honor America's veterans for their sacrifices and service. They are transported to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their memori- als. Top priority is given to the most senior veterans, those from World War II, along with terminally ill vet- erans. Since America felt it was im- portant to build a memorial to the service and sacrifice of its veterans, the Honor Flight Network believes it's equally important they actually get to visit and experience their me- morials. Hanscam and Hennick traveled in a group of 52 veterans with Hen- nick's wife, Juanita, and Hanscam's niece, Diane Highland-Walker. They visited every memorial in D.C. in a single day, with a ban- quet each night, Hennick said. That included memorials for World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Coast Guard, maritime service, the First Division, the Second Division and the chang- ing of the guard at the Tomb of the Photo courtesy of Hal Hennick Worm War H veterans, including Sweet Home's Hal Hennick and Merv Hanscam, prepare for a photo during the Willamette Valley Honor Flight. Unknown Soldier, with a Screaming Eagles paratroopers exhibition. "They're amazing," Hennick said. "We flew from Portland to Chi- cago to Washington, D.C. When we got off the plane, we were met with color guards and a standing ovation at every airport. It makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up." In all his years, he has never been honored like he was on this flight, he said. "I just have never seen anything like that as a veteran." The World War II memorial is fantastic, Hennick said. One end represents the Pacific Theater and the other represents the European Theater. Each state is a column sur- rounding water fountains. 'Tm humbled more than any- thing else, humbled that somebody nowadays still thinks enough to do something like this for us," he said. "It was real emotional having all the people there," Hanscam said. "As far as the World War II memo- rial, I think it's fantastic. It's a once in a lifetime experience." "They say World War II veter- ans are dying 1,000 a month," Hen- nick said. The Honor Flight Network is trying to get them to D.C. to see what has been done in their honor before time to express thanks runs out. The South Willamette Valley, based in Eugene, flew a bunch from m Cops From page 10 "I was in the U.S. Army from September of 2003 to September of 2009 as a military police officer," said Officer David Hickcox. "I handled canines for approximately half of my career. I worked patrol during peace-keeping missions; and when I was not working patrol, I was training in the field for our combat missions." He served in South Korea; Fort Campbell, Ky.; and Bayji, Iraq. His deployment to Iraq was for 15 months in 2008 and 2009. "Our primary mission in Iraq was to train and supervise the Iraqi police, monitor prisoners of war and conduct joint operations, typi- cally patrol operations (foot and vehicular)," Hickcox said. "I think it prepared me very well." Some of the work is similar, Hickcox said, although the way civilians and military personnel respond to law enforcement is dif- ferent. Military personnel are re- quired to be more respectful or face further consequences. Among civilians, "you really don't have that power," Hickcox said. "So you're using a customer- service style. You just kind of brush off the attitude." "I was informed by an attendee of my church, who lives in Sweet Home, that the SHPD was hiring," Hickcox said. "The career of law enforcement has always been an interest of mine, so I decided to ap- ply, and now I am proud to say that I work for this department." The Police Department has 14 police officers and is at its current authorized staffing levels, Burford said. They include nine patrol offi- cers, two detectives, two sergeants and the police chief. Albany and Lebanon along with the two from Sweet Home. The oldest member of the tour was a 99-year-old nurse, Hennick said. Honor Flight will get as many World War II veterans to the memo- rials as it can, he said, and then it will go to work for Vietnam, Korean and Afghanistan veterans. The program is operated by do- nation, he said. Shiloh Inn provided rooms. Southwest Airlines provided the flights. Hennick served with the Navy in the south Pacific as a machinist's mate aboard the U.S.S. Henderson, a destroyer. He was part of the island campaign and occupation of Japan. He spent six years in the Seabees and was part of the Navy's South Pole Expedition. Hanscam served in the Army from 1943 to the end of 1945. He saw combat as a Browning auto- matic rifleman in Germany. He also served as an MP and was discharged as a staff sergeant. A MERE