Al Ziegler returned from the April Central Valley Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., which allows veterans of conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and WWII to visit their memorials, free of charge.
In Al’s words: “A wonderful trip! Hopefully every Veteran who wants to, can make it.”
The day before the trip I was assigned a guardian named Johnny and I met part of his family also. The next day when we reached D.C., to my complete surprise there standing at the airport was my stepdaughter Terri, son-in-law Bob from Clovis and grandson Robby from Texas. They switched caregivers on me! This was a trip of a lifetime!
The Hilton was our place to bed down and relax before and during our motorcade to all of the sights they had planned for us.
The two things I wanted to see, I did; the Changing of the Guard and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The weather that day was overcast and cloudy, making it perfect to see the infantrymen in the field with a light drizzle, wearing their ponchos, covering their weapons from the weather. It all looked so real. I thought I was back in Korea.
The Changing of the Guard was perfection. 21 seconds, 21 steps. Handling of their weapons was to perfection.
Seeing the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. and the White House off in the distance, taking pictures of the tour was just great! There is a lot more, but I just can’t put it into words. Thanks for all who contributed their donations, time and effort into our trip.
I was born in Corona, Long Island, New York on March 30, 1930. My dad managed a grocery store. I worked as a clerk for a couple of years before I went into the armed services. I was in active duty from 1950 until 1953. I had basic training in Pennsylvania (Indian Town Gap) and left for Japan in January of 1952. I had medical training in Japan, and then went on to Korea where I worked as a medical aide attached to combat engineers. I came home in 1953.
After the service I later moved to the Los Angeles area, where I worked for Armored Transport as a vault manager in their main office. This was during the Watts riots in L.A. and we had to clear all the currency from the banks in that area in case the banks were burned. There were seven banks to clear and with the help of the L.A. Police Department, LA County Sheriff’s office, and sometimes the National Guard, we were able to accomplish this. The currency was taken to the Federal Reserve on Wilshire Blvd. in L.A. and after the riots were over it was redistributed to the banks.
I went back to the grocery business for a year and a half to fulfill my retirement requirement. I then took early retirement at 62 years of age in 1992. I moved to Lemoore from Simi Valley and later to Clovis after a stroke and now live with my stepdaughter and son-in-law.
I was married twice, losing my first wife to breast cancer and second to a heart attack. I had four children, four stepchildren, 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. I attend activities and lunch weekdays at the Clovis Senior Activity Center with my friends.