Kern County's 2nd Honor Flight gets set to take off

Bright and early Tuesday morning, more than 90 World War II veterans will take off on the trip of a lifetime, Kern County's 2nd Honor Flight.

Bright and early Tuesday morning, more than 90 World War II veterans will take off on the trip of a lifetime, Kern County's 2nd Honor Flight.

The group of veterans is diverse, ranging in age from 84 to 96, and from all across the county. They include Kern County's first African American veteran, two brothers, and a very brave man making the trip with Parkinson's Disease.

"As the time gets closer we are getting more excited," said Judee Jones, a WWII veteran's daughter and an Honor Flight Chaperone.

91-year-old Armando Coraella and his daughter are so excited they're counting down the days.

"When I first found out about it, I asked my Dad if he would like to go. And, he thought a moment and he nodded yes and he started crying," said Jones.

Coraella enlisted in the Air Force in 1941, flying B24's in the European Theater of World War II. He now has Parkinson's Disease. He can't walk or talk and eats through a feeding tube, but he's going on the Honor Flight.

"Time's running out and he's not getting any better, you know, so we want to do it now," said Jones.

"I feel real good. No hurt. No pain," said Deron Johnson, a WWII veteran and Honor Flight participant.

90-year-old Deron Johnson was 19 when he enlisted.

"At the time I enlisted, there wasn't too much going on for work or something like that. So, that way if I go into the service I could help my father and mother," said Johnson.

He served as a medic in the Philippines. He'll be the first African American veteran on Kern County's Honor Flight.

Then there's the Crawford brothers or Crawford kids as people call them.

"I was drafted even before I graduated from high school," said Emery Crawford, a WWII Veteran and Honor Flight participant. The 87-year-old served with a weapons platoon in France and then Germany at the height of the war.

"I had three months of the war that was pretty bad," said Emery.

His younger brother, 85-year-old David Crawford, was drafted two years later.

"First time I ever left home I guess," said David Crawford, a World War II veteran and Honor Flight participant. "I was scared to death."

He served with the military police up near Alaska.

All four men never dreamed they'd see their memorials.

"I never even thought about being able to go," said Crawford. "I never thought I deserved it."

But, it is well deserved because after their tour of duty, they're finally being rewarded with their tour of honor.

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