Carson City's Kim H. Neiman, a nurse at Renown Regional Medical Center, is in Washington, D.C. today to help an Honor Flight contingent of 40 World War II veterans visiting war memorials there.
This is the first Nevada flight in the non-profit Honor Flight Network program, and Neiman said she was overjoyed to be chosen to help as part of medical personnel accompanying the group.
"I was just real happy about it," she said. "My dad was World War II, my husband's dad was World War II. It's quite an honor."
Neiman, a retired U.S. Air Force Reserves colonel who formerly served in the Nevada Air National Guard, during her own service was a founding member of the Air National Guard Nursing Services Executive Council and a member of the Military Officers Association of America.
Reached in Baltimore which is where the group stayed, Neiman said that among the 40 on the flight were a couple of veterans from Carson City, but she didn't have their names.
The Northern Nevada contingent flew out of Reno on Friday morning and is scheduled to return on Sunday. With nearly $80,000 raised, another flight is slated next month from the state's southern sector; and another Honor Flight from Reno is planned next April.
Honor Flight, a nationwide program, helps those who were in the 20th century's major worldwide conflict so they can travel to the nation's capital and visit memorials that commemorate their service.
Besides the flights, the veterans are provided with food, surface transportation, housing, plus the medical staff and wheelchairs or related necessities required for such trips.
The program's first flight took place in 2005. In the first year, 137 veterans were served. In 2011, the total swelled to more than 18,000 veterans. In all, according to the network, more than 80,000 veterans have been flown in to see the memorials.
Based on estimates just last year, according to the network website, the United States was losing approximately 900 World War II veterans daily.
The network intends to aid veterans in traveling to see the memorials as long as necessary and carry the program forward to others. Efforts already include some Korean and Vietnam-era veterans.