The Journal Sentinel was a sponsor of a recent Honor Flight, a program that takes veterans to Washington, D.C. without charge to see some of our nation’s principal monuments and meet with other veterans:
Washington — World War II is always with Erv Casper.It’s in the memories he carries in his heart and it’s in his leg, where he still carries shrapnel from a daisy cutter bomb that landed near him and his comrades on Okinawa.
A member of the 2nd Marines, Casper was heading to Japan to take part in the expected invasion when he noticed his ship was turning around. The war was over. He wasn’t going back into battle, he was going home.
And in a way, on Saturday he had another homecoming.
“Now I understand it more,” an emotional Casper, 89, said Saturday at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. “All the heroes are dead. That’s the sad part. We all tried our damndest to survive.”
Casper was among 76 veterans who traveled to the nation’s capital Saturday on a Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. The organization provides a free one-day trip to Washington for World War II and Korean War era veterans.
So far the group has taken 4,200 veterans on 37 flights. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was a sponsor of Saturday’s flight….