Norbert Ashbeck and Floyd Bagley, both of Merrill, were honored with a surprise sponsorship for a Never Forgotten Honor Flight through Waid Funeral Home on Monday. The Honor Flight to Washington D.C. will take place on Monday, Oct. 9. A generous, anonymous donor is graciously sponsoring these two attendees as a way to give back.
Judy Plamann, Pre-planning Coordinator at the Waid Funeral Home states, “It brings great joy to our hearts to be able to present an honored, local Veteran the chance to be able to visit the Memorials in Washington D.C. Maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity! All our Veterans have given so much to our country to protect our freedom, it’s wonderful to give a little bit back to them to show our appreciation. May God bless all our Veterans!”
Norbert was drafted in 1966, and served in the Army from 66-68. He went to Fort Polk, LA, where he trained as a Medic. Norb then went on to Fort Lee at the Kenner Army Hospital for six months then received his orders for Vietnam. One week before their deployment, he and six others were told they didn’t have to go, so he remained at Kenner Hospital for his whole term, caring for the soldiers who came back from Vietnam for recovery. One facility was a surgical ward that housed 100 beds and the other was a 400-bed WWII barracks converted to a facility to help the veterans recoup. After his service, he worked at Holy Cross Hospital for 41 years as an X-Ray Technician. There he met his wife and six month later, they were married. Both worked at the hospital under its many names for a combined 80+ years.
Floyd served in the Marine Corps from February 1962 – June 1966. He enlisted after high school and was discharged as an E-4, Corporal. Floyd’s platoon was selected to stand guard for President Kennedy while traveling through San Diego. Spending 110 days aboard ship in the South China Sea, after which time they sent in an advanced party to tour the area. The lines were friendly in the beginning, but soon became aggressive. The troops had to depart after 27 days, because the 13-month tour was up. It was his daughter, Lisa, who encouraged him to enroll in the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which he signed up for 2½ years prior. When asked what his first reaction was to be attending the next flight on Oct. 9, he states, “I’m not sure if I’m ready for this yet!” He is very excited to be going Monday.