Over the years, Honor Flight Kern County has brought about 1,600 veterans to visit the nation’s capital.
Now, Honor Flight is bringing the experience to veterans who aren’t able to fly with them.
“What if they never had that opportunity to go to the World War II memorial or the Korean memorial?” said Lili Marsh, Honor Flight Kern County executive director. “What if they never had that chance to have their lives changed?’
For Betty Pitre, the nonprofit gave her that virtual experience for her 104th birthday.
Pitre served in the navy for three years during World War II, largely working as a communications specialist in Washington, D.C.
She was discharged in 1945 as a lieutenant junior grade.
“She handled a lot of classified information in Washington, and to this day if you asked her what her job was, she would tell you that she can’t tell you,” Marsh said.
“I would have loved to have gone back, to have seen all the places that meant so much to me when I was back in Washington,” Pitre said.
Pitre is just one of 8 women Honor Flight has been able to honor.
“She is sharp as a tack. She still plays bridge three or four times a week. She doesn’t forget anything,” Marsh said.
Pitre says her secret to longevity: “good genes!”