Warson Martin veteran

U.S. Army veteran Martin Warson of Lone Tree stands at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., on April 16. He traveled with other veterans on an Eastern Iowa Honor Flight.

Martin Warson of Lone Tree was one of 25 Korean War era veterans who flew from Cedar Rapids to Washington, D.C., on April 16 on the first Eastern Iowa Honor Flight of 2019.

Honor Flights give veterans an opportunity to visit historical sites and war memorials in the nation’s capital. 

“When you get on the plane, you think you’re just going to see monuments,” Warson said. “When you get on the bus and tour the city, you see so much more than you thought you’d see.”

The Honor Flight group visited the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials.

“The monuments are great,” Warson said. “It takes you back a few years.”

Warson served in the U.S. Army in Korea for 17 months from 1953-54 as a construction engineer.

“I was shipped into Inchon, and they sent me to Pusan,” Warson said. “They put me on a crane, and I ran crane for 11 months, working on the piers and docks.”

Warson was part of the 434th Engineer Battalion. 

When the battalion disbanded, Warson was sent to the Demilitarized Zone, a strip of land that divides North and South Korea.

“There, I drove the company commander around in a jeep,” Warson said.

Last week’s Honor Flight also included a World War II veteran and 71 Vietnam War era veterans.

Warson said that he enjoyed the Honor Flight, on which he was accompanied by his daughter, Kathleen Hotz.

“It’s probably one of the nicest things I’ve ever done,” Warson said. “I was very impressed with it.

“I would recommend it to any veteran. It’s a real experience.”

James Jennings, News Editor at The News, can be reached at news@kalonanews.com

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