Bill Barden joins flight honoring veterans

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A local man’s military service will be honored with a trip to Washington, D.C. Oct. 23.

Bill Barden, a veteran of the Vietnam War, was selected for a seat on an Honor Flight. Twice yearly, branches of the Honor Flight Network around the country honor veterans of past conflicts by sending them to the nation’s capitol.

“I filled an application and sent it in,” he said. “They called me Sunday and said they had one seat left on the place and if I want to go.”

Bill Barden will take his place on an Honor Flight Oct. 23 to honor veterans of past wars. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he will take part in a full-day tour of Washington, D.C. courtesy of the Honor Flight Network.

Bill Barden will take his place on an Honor Flight Oct. 23 to honor veterans of past wars. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he will take part in a full-day tour of Washington, D.C. courtesy of the Honor Flight Network.

Mr. Barden served during the Vietnam War as part of the Army Corps of Engineers from 1966 to 1969. During his tour he spent one year in Vietnam itself, where he helped to build a modern roadway from an airfield at Cam Ranh Bay north to the city of Nha Trang – a 30-mile road that provided a vital link for cargo and troops taking part in the war.

“The road that was over there was about like a bicycle path,” Mr. Barden said. “We went in there and built a two-lane road just like the one that goes up the Joe.”

The road Mr. Barden helped build is still in use today and is a major arterial for residents and tourists alike.

The honor flight will take Mr. Barden and his fellow veterans on a on an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The trip will include a tour of many important memorials, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and more.

Mr. Barden said that he is most looking forward to seeing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, a 246-foot black stone monument bearing the names of 58,318 service men and women who were listed as missing or killed in action during the war.

“I want to see the wall,” he said. “There were a number of young guys from here that never went home. Raymond Finley, the Hanson kid, and plenty more are there. I’m glad I get a chance to go.”

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