HFSNM Bids Sad Goodbye to Veteran Floyd Ryan

Kirby Prickett and Floyd Ryan

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of one of our Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico veterans. Floyd George Ryan, 98. A longtime Deming resident, Ryan passed away Sunday, April 23, 2017 at Mountain View Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces.

Known to us as “Slim,” HFSNM was honored to have him on our Mission 9 flight in 2016. We also had the privilege of seeing Slim honored at the Operation “We Care” event in Deming on March 30th.  Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services Jack Fox presented him with a certificate and commemorative coin in gratitude for his service to our country.

Ryan was born January 5, 1919 to Laura Duree and Glen C. Ryan in Bigheart, Oklahoma.  He served his country honorably in the United States Army, retiring from service in 1958.  He moved to Deming in 1959 from the Denver, Colorado area.  He enjoyed meals at the Deming Senior Center and gathering with friends.  He also loved fishing, camping and the outdoors.

He is survived by son, George Ryan and wife Jan of Brighton, CO; daughter, Sandra Dawson and husband Bob of Las Vegas, NV; brother Dick Ryan and sister Carol Ryan both of Steamboat Springs, CO; 6 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place at the Deming Senior Center on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

(Biographical information courtesy of obituary in the Deming Headlight and Baca’s Funeral Chapel)



Honor Flight Veteran Delmar Sanders Passes

Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico extends our deepest sympathy to the family of Delmar Sanders.

Delmar A. Sanders, a native of Detroit, Michigan, died at the age of 90 on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

He moved to Truth or Consequences as a child. After leaving high school to join the US Marine Corps during WWII he was sent to the South Pacific where he was awarded a Purple Heart.  After the Japanese surrender he served in China repatriating Japanese troops.  In 1949 he was recalled for service to Korea where he was awarded a second Purple Heart.  He fought in the battle of Chosin Reservoir where he was severely frostbitten.  After the war he married Anita Sue Fandey from Truth or Consequences, NM in 1947.  He returned to Detroit and attended technical school, graduating as an Electronic Field Engineer.  He then moved back to New Mexico where he worked for radio stations in TorC and Roswell as an engineer.  In 1960 he moved to Alamogordo for an engineer position with Land Air at HAFB where he retired in 1993.  Brother Sanders petitioned Sacramento Masonic Lodge in 1960.  He received his Master Mason degree from his father-in-law, Zaid Fandey, who was serving as Master in Bethesda Lodge No 64 as a courtesy with Sacramento Lodge.  In 1962 he affiliated with Tularosa Masonic Lodge where he served two terms as Master and was serving as Master in 2017.  Brother Sanders was also Past Master of Sacramento Lodge. |Brother Sanders spend many years working with the DeMolay boys and the Rainbow girls.  He is Past Worthy Patron of the Order of Eastern Star and 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary of the Scottish Rite.  He served in numerous positions for the Grand Lodge, including three years as Grand Lecturer.  In 2015 Delmar Sanders was selected as a member of the Honor Flight, an honor for veterans to travel to Washington DC for events recognizing their service.  Brother Sanders is survived by his wife and two sons, Steven and Ronald, as well as five grandchildren (Sarah R. Brown, Portland OR; Rae R. Lyon, Golden CO; Elaine Rosenberg, Madison, WI; Rachel McArthur, Burlington CO; David Sanders, Austin TX;) and four great-grandchildren (Max Brown, Jonas Lyon, Emma and Clay McArthur).

Services will be April 22, 2017 at the Tularosa Masonic Lodge in Tularosa NM, 411 Higuera Ave., at 10:00am.  The family requests donations to Masonic Lodge.

 (obituary re-printed from unknown source)

Vietnam War Memorial Committee Donates Extra Funds to Honor Flight of  Southern NM


Members of the Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico Board of Directors attended the 7th Annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day at Veterans Memorial Park in Las Cruces. The Vietnam War Memorial is now complete and the funds remaining in the building fund were donated to Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico.

Vietnam War Memorial Committee members presented a ceremonial check for $1063.96 to members of the HFSNM board at the Welcome Home event March 25th at Veteran’s Memorial Park. These funds will be used by HFSNM to honor veterans by taking them to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials. The organization will be celebrating ten years of fulfilling their mission to veterans with this year’s trip later this fall.

Pictured left to right: Valerie Cano (Vietnam War Memorial Committee member and HFSNM Board Member), Kirby Prickett, Arnold Diaz, and Kathy Olson (HFSNM board members). Bruce Fonnest, (Vietnam War Veteran and Vietnam War Memorial Committee member),  LTC Elsa Baker (Vietnam War Memorial Committee member), LTC Jim Harbison, US Army, Ret.,  Vietnam Veteran .

(photo courtesy of Fred Huff)

Car show raises about $3,200 for Honor Flight

Thank you to all the folks who made the Veterans Car Show this past weekend such a great success! The following article is reproduced with permission from the Las Cruces Sun News.

LAS CRUCES — A car show Saturday at Borman Ford meant three veterans who have never been to Washington, D.C. to visit the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, or Vietnam Veterans Memorial will get a chance later this year to visit those shrines.

About $3,200 was raised for Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico, a nonprofit organization that has taken veterans to Washington, D.C. the past 10 years to see the national monuments dedicated to them for their military service to the United States. Now in its 10th year, Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico has provided about 400 veterans with an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington to say thanks for their service and sacrifice.

“Because we are a nonprofit organization and 100 percent of donations account for all of the money used to provide these trips, events like this are critical, and mean a lot, to Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico,” said Arnold Diaz, chair of Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico. “This shows people have a special place in their hearts for veterans.”

Kathy Olson, a board member of Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico, said it costs about $1,000 to pay for each veteran’s trip to Washington. The cost includes round-trip airfare, lodging and meals.

Members of the Custom Classic Cruisers and Cruisers Unlimited car clubs of Las Cruces organized Saturday’s car show and a Friday night “Cruising with the Vets” car ride.

“We have a lot of veterans who belong to car clubs in Las Cruces who will come out to support events like this,” said John Hernandez, a Cruisers Unlimited member who also is a veteran from the Vietnam era. “This is more of a social event for me.”

Fifty six vehicles participated in the car show. Some of the more impressively restored vehicles included a Ford Model A jalopy, a 1931 Ford Victoria, a 1928 Ford Model A, a 1976 Chevrolet Vega wagon, and a 1934 Ford pickup truck. Trophies and prizes were awarded in several categories.

Linda Widbur, who serves as the medical coordinator for Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico, said she has been on seven of the nine previous trips. Each one of those has been memorable.

“Every flight has its own character,” Widbur said. “A lot of these veterans are often hesitant about going. They are often very quiet when the trip starts, but when they go to the memorials a lot of them start sharing their memories. Your jaw often drops when you hear their stories.”

Las Crucen Kirby Prickett, a veteran of the Korean War, was on the 2012 Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico trip. He now serves on the organization’s board of directors and is an ambassador.

“The focus is still on World War II and Korea veterans first,” said Prickett, of veterans who get first preference to take the next available trip. “it’s getting harder to find World War II veterans, but if there is someone out there who hasn’t been on the trip and wants to go, they get priority.”

Prickett added public support is a significant factor the trips to Washington continue for deserving veterans.

“We couldn’t do what we don’t without the support of the community,” Prickett said. “We’re always counting on donations from the community.”

Contributions and applications for Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico trips can be made at www.honorflightnm.org. Contact information is also available at the website.

Steve Ramirez can be reached at 575-541-5452, sramirez@lcsun-news.com, or @SteveRamirez6 on Twitter.

Dan Banks Tribute

Our friend and fellow board member Dan Banks passed away January 12, 2017 after suffering with heart problems. Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico expresses our deep sympathy to all his friends and family. It was a privilege to have worked with him and we will miss him. On behalf of the veterans and in the words of Dale Lindley, “God speed Dan, thank you for your service.”