IBEW Local 1 salutes retiree Jim Glen after Greater St. Louis Honor Flight

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Vietnam veteran is 56-year Local 1 member

By SHERI GASSAWAY
Correspondent

WELOME HOME SERGEANT! IBEW Local 1 retiree Jim Glen (left) and his brother-in-law Ken Ragsdale arrived home from their recent Greater St. Louis Honor Flight and were greeted by family and friends. A group of IBEW Local 1 members (right) held a banner signed by Local 1 members welcoming him home and thanking him for his service. Saluting Glen are IBEW Local 1’s Rick Dinnella, President Jim Reinheimer, Shawn Burns, Business Representative Steve Mueling, Derek Thomas, Chad Cleveland and Bill Papin. – Photos courtesy of the Glen family and IBEW Local 1

“Over the top.” That’s how Jim Glen, a 56-year member of IBEW Local 1 who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, describes his recent trip as part of the 97th mission of the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight.

He was one of 58 veterans to take part in the non-profit organization’s first flight of 2022. Greater St. Louis Honor Flight honors St. Louis area veterans’ service to the country by providing an all-inclusive trip to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials built in their honor.

Glen and other veterans were up at the crack of dawn May 17 to catch the flight, which took them on a whirlwind tour of the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial and Vietnam Memorial, among other historic monuments, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery to watch the changing of the guard.

When Glen landed that evening at St. Louis International Airport, he was tired and weary from the day’s excitement and was looking forward to going home and relaxing with his wife.

‘AWESTRUCK’
“I walked into the airport and saw family and friends en masse and a group of my IBEW Local 1 Brothers holding a banner signed by the union’s members welcoming me home,” Glen said. “I was awestruck, and I’m so grateful to Local 1 because I know they put a whole lot of work into the effort.”

Glen, 77, joined IBEW Local 1 in January 1966. Four months later, he received the call to serve his country. Both of his children – Jim Glen, Jr., and Laura Glen-Tucker – followed in his footsteps and are second-generation Local 1 members.

Local 1 shared photos of Glen’s homecoming on Facebook and his daughter thanked the union for acknowledging her father’s service.

TRUE MEANING OF IBEW LOCAL 1 BROTHERHOOD
“He was touched by the day and the outpouring of support of him and his fellow veterans,” Glen-Tucker wrote on the Facebook post.

“The banner that was signed and the Local 1 members that greeted him at the airport showed the true meaning of the St. Louis Local 1 brotherhood. It will be a memory that my dad, mom, brother and I will cherish forever.”

Glen’s brother-in-law, Ken Ragsdale who also served in Vietnam, called and asked him if he would be interested in participating the Honor Flight. They both completed the paperwork and were approved for the May 17 trip. Glen’s son, Jim Glen, Jr., accompanied him on the trip as his guardian.

“It was an honor to be able to do this,” Glen said. “I’ve been to Washington, D.C., before and have seen some of the monuments, but not all of them. The execution of the event and the logistics was flawless, and there was so much fanfare. We’d visit a memorial and people would move out of our way and clap for us. It was a wonderful experience.”

ABOUT THE HONOR FLIGHT
The Greater St. Louis Honor Flight hub launched in 2008. Its mission is to safely transport America’s most senior military veterans to Washington, D.C., to experience the memorials built in their honor. The non-profit organization is dedicated to these heroic men and women having one of the best days of their life.

For more information, visit gslhonorflight.org.


 

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