Korean War Veteran To Go On First Honor Flight
Andy Anderson was in the Air Force and in the Army
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Andy Anderson was trying to avoid dating a girl his friend wanted him to start seeing so on the day he turned 17, he decided to fix that.
“I joined the Air Force. That ended that,” Anderson said.
The decision Anderson made may have gotten him out of a sticky situation but it was only the beginning of a whole life ahead of him.
He eventually transferred to the Army, serving in the Korean War from 1951 to 1952.
His proudest moment during the time was being a Forward Observer, something not everyone can survive through.
“Nine seconds was the average life for a Forward Observer and I made it nine months,” Anderson said.
Anderson and his team would parachute into enemy territory to carry out missions.
The reason people didn’t last long is because of how dangerous the other side really was.
“It’s like landing on the moon. You never know what’s going to bite you because you can’t parachute down in the daylight because if you did, you’d never get to the ground. You had to do it after dark. You just had to play it smart,” Anderson said.
Being smart also meant Anderson had to get rid of any fears he had just to survive.
“You don’t even think about it. I’ve been wounded. My whole elbow got all shot up. I went to the medics and I said I’m not going to any VA hospital with the medics there. I said ‘patch it up, because I have to go back and do my job,'” Anderson said.
By the time that job was done, Anderson had fired 200,000 rounds.
He came back home on Memorial Day of 1952 and was escorted to a welcome home party by American jazz singer and actress Monica Lewis.
Although, she’s not the one who caught his eye.
“Marilyn Monroe was there. I would’ve liked to have her but somebody else got Marilyn,” Anderson said.
Thankfully, he says he was greeted with something much better soon after.
“First time I was eating ice cream in about a year. Boy, that ice cream. It was a delicacy you know,” Anderson said.
And despite enlisting to avoid dating a woman, he ended up with the love of his life after being discharged.
Anderson and his wife Bertha have been married for 64 years now.
This weekend, the two will head to Washington, D.C. for Anderson’s very first honor flight, a trip he says he’s not worried about at all.
“If the pilot can’t fly it, I can I’ll tell ya,” Anderson said.
KVRR will also be going on the Veterans Honor Flight of North Dakota and Minnesota.
We’ll bring you more stories on the veterans’ time serving their country, and on their trip Sunday and Monday.