Save the Date: A Hero's Welcome April 27th, 2024 Honor Flight Return of 5 Special Veterans to Alamogordo


US Veterans Motor Cycle Club along with Honor Flight and Patriot Guard Riders presents April 27th Welcome Home Hero's Event on New York Ave and Patrons Hall (

Save the date of April 27th, 2024 at 6:30 pm for a very special hero's welcome home. Join and KRAZY, as we join the community, to line up along New York Avenue, in Alamogordo between the Otero County Courthouse and the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts, at the 1000 and 1100 blocks. Let's ensure we have a crowd of people waving flags and carrying signs welcoming home four Vietnam Veterans and one Korean War Veteran from their Honor Flight 17.

Alamogordo - 6:30 PM - The Honor Flight Van escorted by police, and the Patriot Guard Riders and the US Veterans Motorcycle Club, Trinity Chapter will come up White Sands Boulevard and turn right on 10th street then left on New York Ave and pass Otero County Courthouse and end at Patrons Hall for a hero's welcome and a meet and greet.

The 5 local veterans returns and their guardian escorts include:

Master Sergeant, Gary Estep escorted with Debbie Crowford as his daughter and Honor Flight Guardian. Master Sergeant Estep served three tours in Vietnam as a flight engineer on a HH3E helicopter known as the Jolly Green Giant. He has lived in Alamogordo since 1977.

Specialist 4, William Findley escorted with his wife Darline as his Honor Guard Guardian. Specialist 4, Bill Findlay served from 1958-1961 in the US Army Corps of Engineers and was a truck mounted crane operator and heavy equipment mechanic. He worked at Lime Point Coast Guard Lighthouse which is in San Francisco on the North side of the Golden Gate Bridge. His dad's joke was that he volunteered to “go overseas” but they sent him to San Francisco and crossing the bridge was his only “over sea” experience.

Airman First Class, Louis Theriot escorted with his wife Janet as his Honor Guard Guardian. Airman First Class Theriot served 1962-1966 as a T-33 and F-105 crew chief. He served in the Vietnam conflict deployed to Takhli Air Base in Thailand.

Chief Master Sargent, Richard McElderry is escorted by Rashal McElderry his daughter and Honor Flight Guardian and with his wife, Flori. Chief Master Sargent McElderry retired in Alamogordo, after his second assignment at Holloman Air Force Base. Chief McElderry served in Europe, Korea, and multiple assignments in the US as a transportation squadron member which is now the Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS).  Richard and his wife Flori raised two Alamogordo tigers and one also went to NMSU and currently works at the Alamogordo library.

Airman, Irvin Michaud is escorted by his fiancee Yvonne. Airman Michaud hails from Bangor Maine and served from 1950 to 1953 in New Mexico at Kirkland and Holloman Air Force Bases. He was part of the Hydrogen bomb testing that allowed him to travel to the Marshall Islands for actual testing. Eventually he moved back to the Tularosa Basin where he has lived for close to 70 years.

Also a part of the Honor Guard team is Kathryn McMaster who serves as an event Guardian. She lives in Alamogordo and will escort one of the Veterans throughout the events.

The 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron is loaning the Honor Flight team a van for these Veterans return from the airport and onward to the Alamogordo celebration honoring them.

The travel plans for Honor Flight 17, include the veterans departing from Las Cruces about 0200 on April 25th, they fly out of El Paso to Washington DC. They will go to many sites in the DC area including Arlington and the Vietnam and Korean War memorials. They will return to a “heroes welcome” at El Paso airport with their flight arriving at 3:50pm. They will then be escorted via the highway with assistance from the El Paso Police Department, the New Mexico State Police, the Patriot Guard Riders and the US Veterans Motorcycle Club along with the Alamogordo Police Department to bring them back to Alamogordo and be welcomed back on New York Ave in front of Patron’s Hall.  The Alamogordo Police Department will meet them at the city limits and will provide a police escort down White Sands Blvd to 10th and then left on New York to end at Patrons Hall for the reception.

Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico and El Paso transports America's World War II, Korean and Vietnam War Veterans to Washington DC to visit the memorials built to honor and remember those who served. This trip of a lifetime provides closure, healing and the welcome home these heroes deserve. Every Veteran is taken on the flight at no cost to themselves. To learn more visit

To learn more about the events visit

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