Two veterans who grew up in the Wales area were recently honored by WDAY on their Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C. and made the trip a family affair.
Posted on 10/22/16
By Melissa Anderson
Lyle Lothspeich of Langdon and Marlin “Spike” Lothspeich of Park River are the remaining two of nine boys in the Lothspeich family to serve in the United States military.
Lyle Lothspeich was a Private 1st Class in the United States Army. He spent his basic training at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii and was then stationed at West Point, New York and Iceland. He served during the Korean War from November 1950 to November 1952.
“ I was a Jeep driver and rifle trainer,” Lyle said, “ One of the high points of my service was teaching rifle training to the West Point cadets.”
Marlin Lothspeich was a Airman 1st Class in the United States Airforce. He trained at Lackland Air Force Base located in San Antonio, Texas. He also served during the Korean War from 1951 to 1955.
“I served with the 315 Medical Group stationed, at various times, in Mississippi, Arizona, Maine, and Japan,” Marlin stated.
The two brothers were among 96 North Dakota veterans of World War II and the Korean War invited by WDAY to go on the Honor Flight to visit the war memorials and monuments of Washington, D.C. earlier this month.
The veterans were treated to a chartered fight to Washington , D.C. where a hero’s welcome awaited them. During the flight the veterans were able to read numerous letters from children across the state thanking them for their service.
“There were rows and rows of people waving flags to welcome us,” Lyle said.
In Washington, D.C. the vets were given a police escort around the city to give them ample access to the nation’s most treasured and revered monuments and memorials.
“It was a tremendous trip and very memorable,” Lyle stated,” I’m very grateful to WDAY for sponsoring this trip and to all those who donate to fund this.”
At the end of the tour, a banquet was held with a special surprise of former Secretary of State Colin Powell giving a brief speech.
“He was attending meetings and was not expected to be there,” Lyle said.
At the end of the banquet another special surprise was given to the veterans as a Mail Call was held, and the veterans in attendance received letters from loved ones thanking them for their service.
When the veterans returned to Fargo after their whirlwind trip, there was a band awaiting their return.
“It meant a lot to me, to have people come up and shake my hand and say thank you for my service,” Lyle shared.
In the picture starting from left is Lori Kalgard (Marlin’s daughter), Marlin Lothspeich, Lyle Lothspeich, and Dan Lothspeich (Lyle’s son).