MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 28, 2013

WWII vet pleased by Honor Flight to Washington

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Before Bill Fox left for a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C., the Eufaula man said he was excited.

Fox took an Honor Flight for World War II veterans to see the memorial to their war and other sights in Washington on April 17.

Before the trip, Fox said: “I’m really looking forward to that. I don’t know how in the world I would get there if it weren’t for this Honor Flight thing. I think it’s great for them to fly us up there and show us around all the monuments that were put up for those of us.”

Fox also said he was proud because two of his daughters were participating — one as his escort and the other as an escort for another veteran who had no one to come with him.

“Talk about a proud old man — I’m just busting out,” he said.

After the trip, Fox was just as excited about it all and delighted that he participated.

“That was a trip to never, ever forget,” he said. “I tell everyone I spent a week in Washington, D.C., in one day.”

Fox’s favorite memory was watching the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery. “That was worth the whole trip right there,” he said.

Fox said people in the area made him feel special, too.

“They spent every moment to make each and every one of us feel very special,” he said.

Fox said he volunteered for the Army in Wichita, Kan., when he was 17.

The day Pearl Harbor was attacked, he was ice skating and the rink was closed. He went home and found out about the attack.

“A friend of mine and I decided we would volunteer,” he said. “He went to the Navy, and I went to the Army.”

Fox became a radio operator and saw Normandy’s beaches.

“Our job was to get on shore. Since we were in the reconnaissance squadron, we would move around fast and furiously,” he said. “That was our job to start with there in Normandy, running through the hedgerow and all that and get these guys up there to keep fighting and keep them from getting shoved off back into the ocean.”

The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization that transports “our heroes to Washington, D.C., to visit and reflect at their memorials.”

The organization provides the tours for veterans for free. Information: www.honorflight.org.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.