June 17, 2013

WWII veteran Dr. Frederick Mickler gifted trip to D.C. aboard Honor Flight

June 17, 2013 Amber Vann, intern Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak —                 Dr. Frederick Mickler of Dowling Park recently journeyed to Washington, D.C. in honor of his service in World War II. His daughter, Beverly Brown of Tallahassee, accompanied him along with 79 other veterans from the Tallahassee region and their guardians on May 11. They were a part of a program called Honor Flight, and were on the first ever to be taken from Tallahassee.

Honor Flight is a nationwide non-profit group that takes veterans to see the monuments in Washington, D.C., such as the World War II and Iwo Jima war memorials and Arlington National Cemetery. Veterans travel free of charge, accompanied by their guardians, paramedics, and supporters.

                Mickler’s journey began when his son and daughter noticed an advertisement for the Honor Flight program in a Tallahassee newspaper about a month ago. They signed him up for the wait list, and because Honor Flight gives priority to WWII veterans, Mickler was quickly chosen for the program. His daughter, Beverly Brown, was selected to go as his guardian for the trip.

                They traveled by air from Tallahassee to Baltimore, and then took busses to Washington, D.C.

               “They made us feel really special,” Mickler said. “We had police escorts with the buses. And if you didn’t feel like walking when you got there, they had 79 wheelchairs ready for all 79 of us. It was very nice.”

                This was not Mickler’s first trip to Washington; he had previously visited in 1939 as a Boy Scout, and again in 1949 to visit his ailing brother. However, this was the first time he had taken in the sights and enjoyed the monuments. The Iwo Jima memorial and the White House were some of his favorites to visit, as well as the Arlington National Cemetery.

                “The national cemetery was impressive,” he said. “The Changing of the Guard was very moving.”

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