Written by Becca Habegger, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Kent Meyers, 89, has been literally living for Tuesday's Honor Flight of Greater Dubuque.
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
One veteran on Tuesday's Honor Flight of Greater Dubuque has been living for this very moment.
The second of two back-to-back Honor Flights out of Dubuque is underway Tuesday afternoon. World War II and Korean War veterans are touring the nation's capital.
Tuesday morning, the faces of about 90 veterans shone with anticipation for their Honor Flight to Washington D.C. It may be fair to say, however, that nobody anticipated the trip more than 89-year-old US Army veteran Kent Meyers.
His plan was deceptively simple: to "see all I can see and get back," he said Tuesday morning.
But for Meyers, this trip is the flight of a lifetime.
He was in the first wave of soldiers on D-Day to storm the beaches of Normandy, France.
"That's all he talks about is the Honor Flight and how he wants to honor is buddies that died in Normandy on Omaha beach," his guardian Kelly Simpson said. "He lost quite a few friends that day and he's just been kind of tearful in talking about that these last few months while he's been planning for this trip."
Simpson is more than just Meyers' guardian. She is also his hospice nurse.
"He has prostate cancer," she said. "We've been taking care of him for about 18 months."
Meyers, who has never seen the World War II memorial, has been grasping onto life since receiving his Honor Flight acceptance letter.
"He's been having a daily countdown with every visit," Simpson said. "He, you know, keeps repeating, 'You gotta keep me alive for 30 more days,' and, 'nine more days,' and he's literally doing the countdown for the end of his life, actually."
Kent Meyers survived one of the war's most notable battles, and he has survived his own battle with cancer just long enough to see his dying wish come true.
"He'll be ready to let go after this trip," Simpson said, tears welling up in her eyes.
Meyers said he looks forward to the homecoming ceremony as well, when his family will be on hand to greet him. These Honor Flight veterans will return to Dubuque's Grand River Center Tuesday night around 10 p.m. Everybody is invited to come welcome them home.
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