The Ottumwa Courier


November 11, 2009

They served with honor

Southern Iowa veterans relish Honor Flight trips

This year, hundreds of World War II veterans from Iowa made the journey to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II Memorial.

Veterans were flown on special charter “Honor Flights” to the nation’s capitol to see the memorial and be recognized for their service.

Several southern Iowans were among the participants who made the journey and on this Veterans Day, we are proud to share a few of their stories.

Chuck Osing

When Chuck Osing of Ottumwa left for war in 1944, he was prepared for combat.

At 21, Osing was drafted and trained in Texas to be an infantry man before leaving for the war in 1944. However, when he got overseas, a peace treaty was signed and the war was soon over.

“I felt prepared. When you leave basic training, you’re prepared,” Osing said. He was part of the 7th Infantry Division, also known as the Hour Glass Division.

“The war had ended just as we reached the Philippines,” Osing said. “I lucked out. A peace treaty was signed when we were at sea.”

Though Osing didn’t go into combat, he served 18 months in Korea and Japan. The veteran was among Iowa veterans and volunteers to go on an Honor Flight Oct. 12.

“It was wonderful and very well-organized,” Osing said of his trip to Washington, D.C. “There were volunteers from all walks of life who were all very helpful. The veterans with canes or in wheelchairs didn’t need to worry.

“There were 48 steps to get on the plane, and there was someone on every stop to help you,” Osing said. One volunteer even offered to push Osing through the memorial in a wheelchair.

Osing said seeing the monument brought back a lot of memories from his time in service.

Though he was drafted, Osing said, “I was not sorry I went. It was an experience which was great. Basic training was the toughest.”

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