CA Photographer Helping Local Veterans Get to D.C.


By Debbie Gregory.

Twenty veterans have been featured on an 18-month calendar created by Bakersfield, CA photographer Petrina Harris. But it’s not a “beefcake” calendar; these veterans served during World War II and Korea.

“My father is a Vietnam Veteran and I wanted to do something to benefit the local brave men and women in Bakersfield,” said Harris.

Proceeds from the sale of the calendar will benefit Honor Flight Kern County.

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s Veterans for all their sacrifices.

The organization was founded in 2004 by U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Captain Earl Morse. While working for the VA at a clinic in Springfield, Ohio, he noticed that many of his older patients at the clinic were interested in visiting the World War II Memorial. Unfortunately, they were very often physically or financially unable to make it to the memorial in their honor.

On the first Honor Flight, Morse, a licensed civilian pilot, flew a single World War II Veteran at his own cost. A week later, he took a second WWII Veteran. Both Veterans were moved to tears by the generous gift. Morse began recruiting the help of his pilot friends, and the Honor Flight Network was born.

The non-profit relies on donations to fund the trips so that veterans can go to see the memorials in Washington, DC, built in their honor, at no cost.

Honor Flight Kern County is one of 136 hubs from around the country that is part of the Honor Flight Network. The next Honor Flight Kern County will take place on October 25th.

The calendars are $25 each and can be purchased at You can also contact Petrina directly at 661-865-7727 or email [email protected]

Military Connection is a proud supporter of Honor Flight Network.

We salute and serve veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

WWII Vet Continues to Defend the Flag


By Debbie Gregory.

A 92-year-old World War II veteran was injured by a vandal as he protecting the American flag outside his home.

But this story has a happy ending.

Following the incident in which Howard Banks was pushed to the ground, resulting in several bumps, bruises, and a twisted knee, he received a visit from fellow Marine veterans from Honor Flight Austin, who offered him a free trip to Washington, D.C. to see the National World War II Memorial.

The vandal who was either trying to steal or destroy the American flag and the Marine Corps flag on display ran off while neighbors rushed in to help the veteran, who was left legally blind by a flare on Iwo Jima.

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization that honors America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport these heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials.

Top priority is given to the senior veterans, World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

“This guy is living history,” said Honor Flight Austin Director Kory Ryan. “He’s a national treasure. People should be lined up on his porch to talk to him, not ripping his flags down.”

“I think we all had that same feeling, that the flag was our identity. We were Americans,” said Banks. “The fact that I’m getting older, and the less I can do… at least I can still do that.”

Banks’s daughter, friends and neighbors will be keeping an eye on him so that they can help him maintain his monument to the country he served and the Marine Corps, without putting himself in harm’s way. is honored to work with Honor Flight Network, as well as numerous other wonderful non-profits that serve military, veterans and their families.

We salute veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.