For those of you who have been telling me how much you’ve appreciated the coverage of the Big Sky Honor Flight trip to Washington, DC….here’s another great story- a World War II Big Sky Honor Flight veteran who died less than 8 hours after the incredible homecoming arrival at the Billings airport.
Here’s an excerpt from Cindy Uken’s story featuring 86 year old Navy veteran Donald Buska who had been under Hospice care since February:
Once in the nation’s capital, he snacked on a Dove Bar with his son on the National Mall, snapped photos of marble monuments with his pink Sony camera and shook hands with schoolchildren who were awestruck by their brush with living history.
When two Japanese tourists asked if they could take photographs with him, he agreed on one condition: Each must give him a hug in return. The tourists paid in full. He was in his glory.
On Sunday night, after a banquet dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and cheesecake, he enjoyed his usual “night cap,” a double shot of Southern Comfort in his room.
Here’s a previous interview with Buska and The Gazette:
After hearing the news of Buska’s death, Congressman Steve Daines took to the floor of the US House of Representatives to honor Buska:
Exclusive Video: The Final Salute During the Big Sky Honor Flight
A few days before the latest Big Sky Honor Flight took off for Washington, DC, Roland Engdahl was in the emergency room. Being part of the Big Sky Honor Flight to view the WWII Memorial was his last wish, but they never thought he would make it. Well, he did, and his grandkids travelled from across the country to meet him in Washington, DC.
I was there for the trip and saw the grandkids’ salute first hand. Click below for the full story.