Grandfather & Grandson Share Special Veteran Bond on Honor Flight
WASHINGTON – Another group of area veterans is getting ready to head to Washington DC on the latest Honor Flight.
Each one is filled with stories of heroism. On the last flight, two veterans from very different generations shared their story.
Of the 90 Veterans on our local May honor flight, two were escorted by a grandchild and one grandfather-grandson pair contained two veterans. Alvin Baumgartner served in the Korean War inspired his grandson, Nicholas Ringdahl to join the military.
“Growing up I used to sit and ask him all sorts of war stories because his boat would actually be up on the third floor of his house and ask him all these questions and try to get him to tell me all these stories. Anytime I got a military award or anything or when I graduated airborne school I came home and gave him my original pair of jump wings they gave me. And so everything I did in my career I did for him,” Ringdahl explained.
Alvin Baumgartner served on the U.S.S. Rowan.
“Close to shore you could see the torpedoes coming at you. So, if your ship didn’t turn you shot them out of the water and I got soaking wet a lot of times,” Baumgartner said.
When the Rowan wasn’t dodging torpedoes, its speed made it perfect for another mission.
“There would be fighter jets and stuff that when they got too shot up to land on a carrier or land at home, they would just crash them at sea and his boat would go pick them up. One day they picked up 42 pilots,” Ringdahl said.
Seeing the monument in Washington DC that honor the men and women of our military is really just a small part of the Honor Flight experience. Many of the veterans will tell you that it is the comradery of fellow veterans and the sharing of stories heroic and painful that these heroes get the most from. The trip to Washington DC is just a way to bring them together.
For these two veterans serving as different points in our nation’s history it is the same.
“Had a lot of bonding,” Baumgartner said.
KVRR will have coverage of the next Honor Flight Sunday night as morning anchor Adam Ladwig will be traveling with them to Washington, DC.