The wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was the highlight for Lester. He had a list of 10 to 12 names he wanted to find on the wall. Before the trip, Lester did research on where to find their names on the wall. There was also a book at the wall to help locate the names. He then traced the names with a pencil and paper.

“It was amazing how quiet it was at the wall,” Lester said.

He found the name of a medic on the wall who served with him. When Lester was tracing his name, a gentleman asked him if he knew the soldier. Lester replied, “Yes.” The gentleman was the medic’s cousin.

Kline had a classmate killed in Vietnam, and he wanted to see his name on the wall.

Melvin wanted to see Dallas Nihsen’s name on the wall. At the age of 22, Nihsen was killed in action in Vietnam in 1972. He grew up in the Schleswig/Ricketts/Charter Oak area.

Watching the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was interesting for Melvin as they were perfect and in-step all the time.

“It was really sharp,” Melvin said.

He enjoyed taking pictures of everything on the trip.

The Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight traveled around Washington, D.C., on three charter buses.

“I’m really glad we were riding in a bus,” Lester said. Their charter bus even got a police escort to the monuments and Arlington National Cemetery.

There were 10 to 11 other planes that flew into Washington, D.C., that day on Honor Flights from different states.

The group departed Washington, D.C., around 9 p.m. to fly back to Fort Dodge.

“It was a great time,” Kline said. “It was a lot to see in one day, but it was well worth it.”

When the group returned, there was also a huge crowd waiting at the airport. Kline said it took the group over an hour (and was close to midnight) to get off the plane as each veteran was introduced.

A group of about 30 family members were waiting in the Fort Dodge airport to welcome all three of them home.

Lester was completely surprised all five of his children were waiting in the crowd, including Brock from Tennessee, Lenora from Colorado, and Kevin, Marshall, and Darren, along with a number of grandkids. There were also family members from Nebraska were also there to welcome them home.

Prior to the Honor Flight, family members wrote them letters about how much they appreciated their service. The veterans were given these letters a half hour before landing.

When the person handed Lester his packet he said, “Here’s a guy that’s really liked.”

Lester noted he didn’t get all of them read before getting off the plane.

Melvin said one of the former District Commander’s children made special “Welcome Home” signs, too.

“We really, really appreciate all of the people that have donated to that flight,” Lester said. “As it didn’t cost us a dime.”

Veterans on the flight didn’t have to pay anything to go on this special trip. Money raised for the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight comes from donations from a 14 to 16 county area.

Kline is a member of the Schleswig VFW and American Legion and said more veterans from Crawford County have been going on the Honor Flight. Groups in the area have started raising more money for the trip. The Schleswig VFW and American Legion raffled off a rifle with the proceeds going to the Honor Flight.

“I’m thankful for the people that donated to this,” Kline said.

“It just shows you how nice people are in the United States,” Lester added about the people who organized the event, donated to it, and who welcomed them at the airports.

If any veteran is interested in going on an Honor Flight, call the local county Veterans Affairs Office for more information.

By Jenna Comes

Brothers Melvin and Lester Goslar had never been to Washington D.C. Both served in Vietnam and wanted to see the wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in our nation’s capitol.

“I wanted to see the wall,” Lester said. “There were several names on the wall I wanted to see.”

One of those names was Philip Terry, who was killed in Vietnam. Lester was laying right next to Philip when he was killed during an ambush one night.

They heard about a Honor Flight out of Fort Dodge during a Charter Oak American Legion meeting. Both are members of the group.

Melvin and Lester filled out an application at the Veterans Affairs Office at the Crawford County Courthouse to go on the Honor Flight. Crawford County is at the far southwest corner of the area in which the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight covers.

Both were invited to go on the Honor Flight on Saturday, May 11. This was the 18th Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight. Their day started at 5 a.m. when they arrived at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport. The flight left at 6:30 a.m.

A majority of the roughly 160 veterans on the trip were Vietnam veterans, but also included some Korean veterans and two World War II veterans from every branch of service. Three nurses, a doctor, and about six to seven staff members went on the flight to assist the veterans.

Joining Melvin and Lester on the trip was their cousin’s husband, Terry Kline of Schleswig. Kline, who also served in Vietnam, knew a couple other veterans who had been on the Honor Flight and thought it was a good opportunity. He had been to Washington D.C. about eight years ago on a bus trip with his wife, but said going with a group of veterans was special.

“I had seen the Vietnam Memorial before, but it was nothing like going with a group of veterans,” Kline said.

Thirteen veterans from Crawford County went on the Honor Flight including Harold Fink, Virgil Johnson, Terry Kline, Dennis Schmidt, Leo Schierbrock, Wesley Stoelk, Richard Maynard, Wayne Bliesmann, Charles Brobst, Francis Zimmer, Farrell Sirovy, Melvin Golsar, and Lester Goslar.

Melvin wanted to go on the trip to see all of the monuments and have camaraderie with other veterans on the Honor Flight.

“I enjoyed visiting with the other veterans in the group,” Melvin said. He knew some of the other veterans on the trip since he was active with the Legion District.

When the plane landed in Washington D.C., the veterans were greeted by close to 2,000 people in Dulles Airport.

This was a highlight for Kline. It took the group about an hour to make their way though the airport because there were so many people there greeting them. The crowd was a mixture of supporters from Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts to nurses and police officers, people from every occupation.

“It was quite the thing, and was shocking in itself.” Kline said about being welcomed by so many people.

“We went in the east door on the airport and walked though the whole airport to the west door, and there were people from one end of the building to other,” Lester said.

The itinerary for the Honor Flight included a trip to the Lincoln, Korean, and Vietnam monuments; a stop at the Navy memorial; World War II Memorial; Iwo Jima Monument; Arlington National Cemetery where they witnessed the lowering of the flag and observed the Changing of the Guard.

The wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was the highlight for Lester. He had a list of 10 to 12 names he wanted to find on the wall. Before the trip, Lester did research on where to find their names on the wall. There was also a book at the wall to help locate the names. He then traced the names with a pencil and paper.

“It was amazing how quiet it was at the wall,” Lester said.

He found the name of a medic on the wall who served with him. When Lester was tracing his name, a gentleman asked him if he knew the soldier. Lester replied, “Yes.” The gentleman was the medic’s cousin.

Kline had a classmate killed in Vietnam, and he wanted to see his name on the wall.

Melvin wanted to see Dallas Nihsen’s name on the wall. At the age of 22, Nihsen was killed in action in Vietnam in 1972. He grew up in the Schleswig/Ricketts/Charter Oak area.

Watching the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was interesting for Melvin as they were perfect and in-step all the time.

“It was really sharp,” Melvin said.

He enjoyed taking pictures of everything on the trip.

The Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight traveled around Washington, D.C., on three charter buses.

“I’m really glad we were riding in a bus,” Lester said. Their charter bus even got a police escort to the monuments and Arlington National Cemetery.

There were 10 to 11 other planes that flew into Washington, D.C., that day on Honor Flights from different states.

The group departed Washington, D.C., around 9 p.m. to fly back to Fort Dodge.

“It was a great time,” Kline said. “It was a lot to see in one day, but it was well worth it.”

When the group returned, there was also a huge crowd waiting at the airport. Kline said it took the group over an hour (and was close to midnight) to get off the plane as each veteran was introduced.

A group of about 30 family members were waiting in the Fort Dodge airport to welcome all three of them home.

Lester was completely surprised all five of his children were waiting in the crowd, including Brock from Tennessee, Lenora from Colorado, and Kevin, Marshall, and Darren, along with a number of grandkids. There were also family members from Nebraska were also there to welcome them home.

Prior to the Honor Flight, family members wrote them letters about how much they appreciated their service. The veterans were given these letters a half hour before landing.

When the person handed Lester his packet he said, “Here’s a guy that’s really liked.”

Lester noted he didn’t get all of them read before getting off the plane.

Melvin said one of the former District Commander’s children made special “Welcome Home” signs, too.

“We really, really appreciate all of the people that have donated to that flight,” Lester said. “As it didn’t cost us a dime.”

Veterans on the flight didn’t have to pay anything to go on this special trip. Money raised for the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight comes from donations from a 14 to 16 county area.

Kline is a member of the Schleswig VFW and American Legion and said more veterans from Crawford County have been going on the Honor Flight. Groups in the area have started raising more money for the trip. The Schleswig VFW and American Legion raffled off a rifle with the proceeds going to the Honor Flight.

“I’m thankful for the people that donated to this,” Kline said.

“It just shows you how nice people are in the United States,” Lester added about the people who organized the event, donated to it, and who welcomed them at the airports.

If any veteran is interested in going on an Honor Flight, call the local county Veterans Affairs Office for more information.

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