A resident of the William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home in Temple will be taken on an all-expenses-paid flight Friday and Saturday to honor his brothers in arms.
The non-profit group Honor Flight Austin will provide a round-trip flight and motorcade escort for longtime Army veteran, Sgt. 1st Class Lawson Beard, a former resident of Austin. Beard, who served from 1952-73, saw action during the Korean War, providing artillery fire communication via the Signal Corps.
Beard hopes to find the names of his older cousins on the World War II Memorial wall in Washington D.C. — one of several stops on this weekend’s Honor Flight itinerary. Other scheduled stops in D.C. include the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. Beard and fellow veterans will then be taken to the Arlington National Cemetery to watch the changing of the guard and attend a wreath-laying ceremony, followed by a tour of the Iwo Jima, Air Force and Navy memorials.
Beard’s flight will depart from Austin Bergstrom International Airport at 12:35 p.m. Friday, April 11, and will arrive in Washington D.C. at 4:40 p.m. (Southwest Airlines Flight 819). A lunch will be served prior to boarding at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. After his tour of our nation’s capital, Beard will depart from Washington D.C. at 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. He is scheduled to arrive back at Austin Bergstrom at 7:55 p.m. (Southwest Airlines Flight 3356).
Motivated by an understanding that time is running out to express our nation’s thanks to aging veterans, Honor Flight Network transports our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – especially World War II survivors – along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. To learn more about Austin’s regional Honor Flight hub, visit www.honorflightaustin.org.
In addition to heroes like Beard, the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) houses and cares for Texas veterans through its eight Texas State Veterans Homes. Together, they serve more than a thousand veterans and their families needing long-term, high-quality care. For more information call 1-800-252-VETS (1-800-252-8387), or visit www.texasveterans.com.