KENT, Wash. (KING) -- After a recent trip to our nation's capital, one World War II veteran found a new mission. Vet Don Hanson was hoping someone would be able to identify a young sailor he met while in Washington, D.C.
"That's what I want to do is encourage the new generation from the old generation," said Hanson. "I never thought of myself as the old generation -- just wanted to pass my thought along."
Hanson served in the U.S. Navy. Through the Puget Sound Honor Flight, he and 31 other vets took an all-expenses-paid journey to Washington D.C. to visit the World War II Memorials and other landmarks. While Hanson was there, he met a young sailor captured in a powerful picture.
"After we saw the picture, we really thought it was important if we could find out who this young sailor was, we could get him a picture from Don with a note to say how much that meant to Don," said Denise Rouleau with the Puget Sound Honor Flight.
It didn't take long. A few hours after the story aired on KING 5 News Thursday night, the mystery sailor contacted KING 5 on Facebook.
"I was tagged on the picture with Navy Veteran Don Hanson. I cannot begin to express how surprised I was to see this picture circulating online. It was such an honor to be able to meet the Veterans in attendance that day! That picture was taken on April 19, 2014 at the WWII Memorial in Washington DC," wrote FC3 Christian Suliguin."As I was standing in line to greet everyone in attendance, Mr. Hanson immediately hugged me. What an incredible feeling to be able to meet a fellow shipmate! The stories and advice that everyone shared only inspired me even more to further serve our country!"
This most recent trip was only the second for the Puget Sound Honor Flight organization. The group's mission is to send all surviving World War II vets in Western Washington on a trip to Washington, D.C.