Twin Tiers Honor Flight was a family affair



WASHINGTON (WBNG) – From the moment the Mission 10 Twin Tiers Honor Flight touched down in Washington DC, the Brand Brothers were proud of the stars and stripes.

Michael, Thomas, and Richard Brand all served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Their brother, Fred Brand, joined them on the Honor Flight as one of their guardians.

While the day was filled with laughs and smiles, the visit to the Vietnam War Memorial could only be described in one word.

“Brutal,” Michael said, “One word, brutal to me.”

The memorial wall lists more than 58,000 names, some of whom were familiar.

“It’s a sad day,” said Richard, “when you have to look at the names of the people you’ve worked with.”

“You know we’ve all seen the pictures and heard the stories on that wall,” Thomas said, “But that doesn’t mean anything until you’re here.”

On the wall among the thousands of names, 31 groups of brothers, adding even more emotions for the Brands.

“Emotional day for me,” said Michael, “I’m so proud to be here.”

“It’s great to have brothers,” added Richard.

“Being here has been just awesome,” said Fred, “not just for the monuments, but for being here with my brothers.”

For the Marques, being in our National Capital among monuments and memorials has given them time to reflect.

“I was very young, I joined at 17,” said Michael, “I didn’t have a clue of what was going on in Vietnam in reality until later in life.”

“I’m just glad the kids don’t have to go through what we did when we were young,” said Richard, “With the draft and all that you didn’t have a lot of choice you went to the service or you went to school. “

“Years have passed, maturity has set in and a lot of things are not what they used to be,” said Thomas. “It hits you harder, it does, things mean a lot more, simple things.”

Through the emotions of the busy day, the brothers knew that they had met, all the way to the large reception house.

“Brotherhood is strong family ties and you realize how important family is to us,” said Fred, “We don’t get together very often as brothers so it has been a very special day at many ways for all of us. “

They joked that until this trip they only had a few photos in total, now the Brand Brothers have a lot more. Pictures of an experience they said they would never forget.



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