WWII veterans ready for trip to D.C. memorial

Seventy World War II veterans will fly to Washington D.C. Saturday.
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A true "band of brothers" from World War II will board a plane in Indianapolis, bound for Washington Saturday morning.

It is not a surprise that you would find a flag flying outside of Al Barker's house. Once a veteran, always a veteran. He was there at the Battle of the Bulge.

"I got shot up and captured, so that was the end of the war for me," said Al Barker.

He still has his field jacket after all these years and it still has the mark on the back of it.

"It means I was a prisoner of war. The Germans put that on there," he said.

And it still fits. In fact, he plans on wearing it when he boards the Indy Honor Flight on Saturday. The flight takes WWII veterans to Washington to see their memorial.

Al will have a couple of pieces of poetry in his pocket, both written by prisoners of war - one American and one British. He plans to hand them out on the plane.

He has never seen the memorial that includes his name and a few others.

"I expect to find my name and my brother's name and my other brother's name," he said.

They have all passed on now, which is one of the main reasons for the flight - get the members of the Greatest Generation together one more time.

Barker still has the small bible that was given to all the soldiers as they went off to war. But his truly prized possession hangs on his wall.

"The figure of Christ carved by a Russian prisoner of war in January 1945," he said.

Language may have prevented communication between the two, but some things don't need a language to communicate. It will be the same when all 70 WWII veterans board the Honor Flight this Saturday.

It will be a long day for the veterans, who will fly to Washington and return home all in the same day.

Indy Honor Flight website