23rd Never Forgotten Honor Flight: Meet Navy Veteran Dolores Ramlow

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- The 23rd Never Forgotten Honor Flight takes off Monday morning, flying local veterans to Washington D.C to visit the memorials built in their honor.

Sunday, the 94 veterans all came together for the first time for a pre-flight dinner at Highland Community Church in Wausau.

The 16 WII veterans, 39 Korean veterans and 39 Vietnam veterans come from all over Central and North Central Wisconsin.

"So it's going to be a good mix of veterans from three generations essentially, so that will be pretty exciting to have them mix it up with all the branches of service," said President and Co-founder of the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, Mike Thompson.

Thompson says this is the first time the pre-flight dinner has been held at a different venue. It used to be held at the Howard Johnson Inn, which is being redeveloped into a Hilton Garden Inn by Ghidorzi.

The group continues to support the veterans through their stay at the Fairfield Inn in Weston.

Among those veterans going on the trip of a lifetime is Dolores Ramlow, a 91-year-old Navy veteran.

"A lot of memories," Dolores said.

She has a lot of stories to tell about live, love and about her time serving in the Navy during WWII.

"I ran away from home," she chuckled.

Where she ran to was Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois.

"One decision that my mother says, 'You're going to be sorry,' and I never was," she smiled.

Ramlow worked in the medical corps, using prior training she got as a beautician.

"Learning to be a beautician, you learn about the body and how it worked," Dolores said.

"Administering meds and helping in the delivery room, delivering babies for the wives of the servicemen," said Dolores' son Greg.

"The fact that she got a lot of pleasure from helping other people. A lot of that has trickled down to the rest of the family," Greg added.

He'll also be her guardian on the 23rd Never Forgotten Honor Flight on Monday, a trip that took a lot of convincing for his mother to go on.

"She didn't think she had the right because she wasn't overseas. I told her, what more of a right do you need to have. You were taking care of the families of the servicemen that were overseas and gave them a little more care and comfort knowing that their families were being well taken care of," Greg explained.

"Kept you busy and on your toes. I wouldn't give that up for anything," said Dolores.

Dolores is only one of two veterans on this upcoming flight who are women. She says during the war, women were looked down on.

"What in the heck are they doing there? They were doing a job," she said.

It's a job she says she's proud of, and looking back, she has no regrets on the life she chose at a young age.

"It opened up a whole new world for me, and I'm glad I joined the service," Dolores said.

The flight takes off Monday morning from the Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee. It'll return to a welcome home ceremony at 10:00 p.m. Monday. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.