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St. Louis Honor Flight Program

A Tribute to the Greatest Generation

First Bank has partnered  with the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight (GSLHF) and the St. Louis Blues for  “First Bank’s Tribute to the Greatest Generation.”  GSLHF honors St. Louis area veterans’ service to our country by providing an all-inclusive trip to Washington, DC to visit the memorials built in their honor. 

Through April 2016, we will pay tribute to a different veteran each month.  The veteran will be introduced to the fans in attendance at the Blues game and an emotional tribute video will be broadcast on the Jumbotron. 

Our goal is to not only honor these veterans but to raise awareness of the Honor Flight program. 

First Bank will also make a donation to GSLHF each time the Blues score first and every time the team wins for the 2015-2016 season.

Honor Flight logo

Jim Thorpe

Marine Corporal Jim Thorpe

 

My name is Jim Thorpe. I was Born
on July 29th, 1925. I was a Corporal in the Marine Corps. I went to cryptographer
school. And I was a sharp shooter. Suribachi was an eight-story volcano. B-25s and everything
were flying in from Guam and they'd get all shot up and on the way back they'd have to ditch
in the ocean. So we had to take Iwo Jima because they had two landing strips there.
And while we lost about seven or eight thousand Marines on Iwo Jima,
why, I think we saved 25,000 pilots.
The Honor Flight was fantastic. I can truly say I really enjoyed that, because just the adulation that you get ...
Everybody is waving at you and shaking your hand and waving the flag.
It's really, really amazing.

Joe Kuc

Army Sergeant Joseph Kuc

I'm Joe Kuc. I was born in 1923. I was a buck sergeant in the AA ... Anitaircraft outfit. We wound up being infinitry, part-time. But, we overcome... I was one of the lucky stiffs. I count my blessings every day. Greater St. Louis Honor Flight. I said yep, I said count me in. I can't really explain it. I was overwhelmed. The whole day - I just enjoyed the whole day. And I'm still enjoying it. It's unbelievable. It's breathtaking. And I was really touched. Honor Flight... They're the greatest. Thank you. I'll never forget.

Harold Rathmann

Army First Sergeant Harold Rathmann

My name is Harold Rathmann was born October 17th, 1924. My rank in the service when I got out was First Sergeant. Ended up I was a gunner on a tank. The tank was what they call a M7, and they had 105 Howitzers. And those shells were about this big. At that time you're 18 years old. You're not really, I guess, scared of anything. You're looking for adventure in a way, I guess. But you wasn't scared. Probably now I'd be scared. Honor Flight was a wonderful experience. I'd recommend it to anybody. (Best) Part of the day was when we visit the WWII memorial. And the next one was the Arlington Cemetery, I liked that. When we got to the airports and we came in, people were lined up on both sides. Clapping for you and all those people cheering for you. I had that feeling. It felt like I really accomplished something. That all these people appreciated, you know, what you had done. I don't know if you can go twice, can you?