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Veteran booked on Honor Flight

Thiel designed metal sculptures in Ritzville

RITZVILLE – When Lamar Thiel's ancestors homesteaded here after trudging thousands of miles on the Oregon trail, they couldn't have guessed that one of their descendants would one day fly in the opposite direction.

In early October, Thiel will travel east to Washington, D.C. on an "Honor Flight" celebrating veterans who served during "recognized periods of conflict." In Thiel's case, that "recognized period" was the inception of America's involvement in Vietnam.

"I married my high school classmate in June 1960 and by December was headed for the draft," he recalled. "I later learned I was the f...


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