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Southeast Kansas WWII veterans and lifelong friends to board Hon - KOAM TV 7

Southeast Kansas WWII veterans and lifelong friends to board Honor Flight

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At 89, Homer Cole has had many roles: husband, father, great grandfather, record-breaking PSU basketball player, and even city mayor.

"I don't like strangers. I like to be friends with everybody."

But it's his role in the Air Force during World War II that perhaps entailed the most sacrifice, particularly his 18th mission.

"It was a mess. We lost two engines, my pilot lost his left leg and my engine caught flack that went clear through his stomach."

"Being shot down and lucky to be alive and be back home with the plane being shot up as bad as it was," said Mike Cole, his son.

Now Cole, a Purple Heart recipient, is getting back on a plane, but this time, in his honor. He and 25 other world war ii veterans will soon be boarding a complimentary flight to Washington dc

"I'm excited to see some of the people and to see some of the sites."

His life-long friend, World War II veteran and former Marine, Ken Coulter will also be on the flight.

"It will be nice to see all the tombs and unknown soldiers and all the things they have to show us," he said.

The two men have been close friends since high school.  

"We try to pick on each other all the time," said Cole.

"Oh homer and I argue all the time," said Coulter. "Of course, we go out and play pitch at the elks every once and a while.  

"They've such great friends," said Mike Cole. "I think it's really a great honor that they're both getting to go together."

Cole's family says he's been anticipating the trip for quite some time.  

For Cole, he says it's an honor, but always the people person, he's most excited about possibly making new friends.  

"I'm interested in meeting the other 25 people."

Another mission and great story to tell.  

Cole and Coulter leave for Wichita on Tuesday, April 14; from there, they'll fly to Washington.  

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