FOREST LAKE — Bob Sorman of Forest Lake, a 90 year old World War II Navy veteran, has been chosen for an "Honor Flight" to Washington, D.C. May 16 for an all-day sightseeing event.
Sorman is known locally for his 27-year tenure as a volunteer tutor at the Adult Learning Center, a Community Education program in Forest Lake. He'll be accompanied by Rick Hansen of Wyoming.
The Honor Flight program is a nationwide effort to help as many surviving WWII veterans as possible visit their memorial in D.C. The Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Charity is sponsoring Sorman's flight which will include 161 other men and women and guardians. The veterans will also see the Iowa Jim, Korean War, Air Force, Vietnam and Women in Military Service Memorials and take a bus tour of D.C.
Sorman was nominated for the honor by Kathy Hansen of Wyoming, whose Vietnam-era veteran husband Rick has celebrated Memorial Day with Sorman for several years. Kathy and Bob met as teachers at the ALC.
“Over a year ago, I asked Bob if he would be interested in going on the Honor Flight with my husband Rick as a guardian,” she said. “Bob was interested — after all, he walked the Great Wall of China just a couple years ago.”
The public is welcome to attend the group's homecoming at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport at 10:29 p.m. May 16 (see sidebar).
Two years ago, Sorman passed the 4,500-hour mark for time dedicated to the Adult Learning Center. He works for a free program offering tutoring for those not in high school who are seeking a high school diploma, studying for their GED, brushing up on academics to prepare for college or learning English as a second language.
His military service included 20 years in the Navy and Army, four of them during WWII. He was part of several naval battles, specialized in gunnery, completed special training to counter spy activity and retired with five battle star medals.
After that he spent 20 years working for the city of Minneapolis. Along the way he married and fathered 10 children who went on to produce 16 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
If you go
Homecoming for Bob Sorman and other Minnesota vets
When: 10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16
Where: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Humphrey Terminal 2. Follow sings for meeting point for Sun Country Flight 8603.
Details: Banners, posters and balloons welcome.