Local veteran to take Midwest Honor Flight

SPEARFISH, S.D. — It’s a final tour with honor. Midwest Honor Flight will soon depart on its 700th mission with over 80 veterans traveling to Washington D.C. to see the military memorials in our nation’s Capitol.

In this week’s Honor Their Service, Megan Murat spoke with one West River man who gets to have that final tour.

“Could it be me? Why is it me?”

When Marvin Bertsch found out he would be traveling to Washington D.C. on May 7, he was in shock.

“I appreciate it though,” he said.

Bertsch is from the tiny town of Isabel, South Dakota, population 100 and now lives in Spearfish. He was drafted to the US Army in 1952, where he spent much of his time overseas as a combat engineer.

“When we left camp Stoneman in California, we went by ship to Japan and I was there a short while. And we went to Korea for about 3 months … I want to see the Korean Memorial Monument.”

Because of Midwest Honor Flight, Marvin can go to the memorial he’s hoping most to see.

“Even though I was in Korea, I was not in combat. I knew a lot of the kids that went through basic wound up in the front lines 38th parallel in North Korea and I showed much respect to those veterans.”

The tour takes off Tuesday and takes veterans to the the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Marine, Air Force, and Navy Memorials, plus the World War 2, Korean War, and Vietnam War Memorials.

“When they change guards, I want to see that,” said Bertsch. 

Midwest Honor Flight leaves out of Sioux Falls and Marvin is going with his daughter, Edith, who will be his guardian.

The public is encouraged to attend their arrival, welcoming home America’s heroes from their final tour with honor.

“Here in America we are very blessed,” said Bertsch.  

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News