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Hobart veteran to join 85 other veterans on honor flight from Appleton to Washington D.C.

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jun 06, 2023

HOBART (NBC 26) — Chuck Tappa is getting a once in a lifetime experience on Wednesday.

He's one of 86 veterans going on the Old Glory Honor Flight from Appleton to Washington D.C.

He's going with his son, Lorne, who will be his guardian for the day, and Tappa said they're both ecstatic.

"I just feel honored to be going," he said. "It will be kind of like a bonding experience, and my son is looking forward to it just as much as I am.”

Tappa served during the Vietnam era from 1969-1971, and his specialty was in armed reconnaissance.

He is currently 74 years old and was drafted when he was just 19 years old. During that time, he spent a year in Washington state and time in Germany and Turkey, far away from his hometown of Green Bay.

He said serving came with challenges, including anti-war protesters.

“When I traveled, from like Seattle several times, there was a lot of anti-war protesters in the airports that would spit at you," he said. "If you could get away flying without your uniform on, that’s what a lot of people did.”

He was also away from his fiancée at the time, Diane. He said they shared their love through letters back and forth everyday until they got married before he went to Germany and she moved with him.

Despite these challenges, Tappa said serving our country was one of the best experiences he’s had and one that he is forever thankful for.

“I grew up," he said. "The service will grow you up. You know, the discipline, and for me personally, I thought it was a good experience.”

Now, he said he knows the honor flight will become a new memory he will also be forever thankful for.

“I lost my two best friends in Vietnam, and that was hard. I’ll look them up in the Vietnam wall," he said. "God bless America. I love this country."

Veterans will board the honor flight on Wednesday morning at the Appleton International Airport.