Members of the Homer Masonic Lodge turned out last Saturday, May 4, 2019, to honor World War II veteran Clem Tillion after his return on a Last Frontier Honor Flight. They also showed appreciation for his many years of Masonic service. In the photo standing behnd Tillion are, left to right, are Grady Svoboda, Tom Stroozas, Dave Spell and Greg Martin. Tillion took part in the Last Frontier Honor Flight, a trip that takes Alaska veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the sites and take in the memorials built in their honor.
“It’s nice that they remember,” said Tillion, a World War II veteran and former state lawmaker.
Tillion made the trip with mostly Korea and Vietnam veterans, 23 total on the flight. He was one of four World War II veterans on the trip.
Faith Friday Friends of Faith Lutheran Church also presented Quilts of Valor to Tillion and fellow veteran Robert Haynes. As part of a national program to honor veterans, quilters make Quilts of Valor and present them to people who have served in the armed forces.
According to a press release from the Masonic Lodge, Tillion remembers the war as well as anyone. As part of the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II, his journey took him to the Pacific Theater in Samoa, Guadalcanal, and elsewhere looking for unexploded ordnances.
“Freedoms are won by somebody that goes out and fights for it. You don’t have anything without it,” said Tillion. “I don’t think I’m anything spectacular. I just went in, did it, and came out alive.”