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’63 grad goes on Honor Flight

Staff writer

Two years after graduating from Marion High School, Warren Kreutziger headed to the Army, and eventually, Vietnam.

Kreutziger is a member of the class of 1963 and plans to attend its 65th reunion Saturday as part of Old Settlers Day.

He recently visited Washington, District of Columbia, with Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit organization that takes veterans to the nation’s capital to see war memorials.

Kreutziger and his daughter, Kim Richardson, flew together Sept. 18 and returned Sept. 20.

The trip was meaningful, he said.

“We got to see quite a few of the memorials,” he said. “Of course, my biggest interest was the Vietnam Wall.”

He served in the Army from 1965 to 1968, including one year in Vietnam.

At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Kreutziger saw the names of people he served with who died during the war.

“It was very interesting,” he said. “I was really glad to see a lot of the memorials. We also got to see Arlington National Cemetery. We did a little bit of other sight-seeing but not much.”

Kreutziger was stationed just outside D.C. for part of his time in the Army.

“I’d seen some of the real old memorials,” he said. “Things have changed a lot in the last 50 or so years. I didn’t recognize hardly anything.”

Kreutziger, who lives near Marion Reservoir, enlisted in the Army after working at a factory in Newton for two years.

“I would have been drafted, but I was interested in helicopter maintenance and so I enlisted,” he said. “If I had been drafted, it’s hard telling what I would have done.”

After the war, Kreutziger worked for elevators around the area doing maintenance.

Kreutziger, 78, said it took about a year after applying to Honor Flight to be chosen for a trip.

All of his expenses were paid by the organization. He paid for his daughter to go with him.

“They encouraged us to have someone along to help out,” he said.

As for the war, Kreutziger doesn’t talk about it much.

“I won’t say I don’t like to, but I don’t,” he said.

The Marion area didn’t protest Vietnam veterans returning home, he said.

“In small towns like this, you don’t have all that riff-raff like you do in the big cities,” he said. “I think I only heard one remark.”

Last modified Sept. 28, 2023

 

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