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Elk Mound’s David Jensen travels on 46th Badger Honor Flight April 8th

ELK MOUND’S David “Butch” Jensen was chosen to participate in the 46th Badger Honor Flight. Butch, left, and his son Shawn Jensen, who served as his father’s chaperone during the trip, flew to Washington D.C. on April 8th and returned later that same evening. The one-day trip included visits to several memorials. The duo is pictured in front of the Lincoln Memorial. —photo sumbmitted

submitted by Denise Jensen

David (Butch) Jensen of Elk Mound was chosen for the spring 46th Badger Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2023. His son, Shawn accompanied him as his chaperone.

The Honor Flight is for WWII, Korea, and Vietnam veterans, or any terminally ill veteran.

Butch served 4 years in the Air Force; in Vietnam in 68-69 as special forces blue berets. For those who were spit on and called “baby killers,” when they returned home, this was vindication. Later, Butch served 12 years with the Army National Guard.

This was a one-day event. Eighty-nine veterans and their chaperones, volunteers, photographers, videographers, and medical personnel made the trip. They received breakfast from the Red Cross at the airport. The plane left Madison airport at 7:05 a.m. with a send-off ceremony. When they arrived in Washington, they also received a welcoming ceremony. Four buses loaded them for a sightseeing tour of the military monuments. They viewed the Marine Corp Memorial (Iwo Jima), Arlington Cemetery and the changing

of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Korean Memorial, the Vietnam Wall and Memorial, the Seabees Memorial, the Spanish American Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, and the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.

They had lunch donated by Arby’s, who has provided lunch for all 46 flights to date. Supper was donated by Chick-Fil-A. They also each received a Badger Honor Flight polo shirt, windbreaker, and coin; a hard cover book about the Washington Monuments; and many other things from sponsors of the flight. A nun gave each veteran a coin with John 3:16 on it, at the beginning of the flight.

While in-flight home, they each received a mail-call packet of letters from friends and relatives, telling of their appreciation for the veteran. Also, cards and letters of appreciation from school kids and organizations such as the DAR. Roll- call was a very important time while they were serving overseas. It stands out as one of the highlights of the trip.

They returned to Madison at 8:30 p.m. to a crowd of thousands (one volunteer said that it was the largest crowd he had seen for a return celebration) cheering, waving flags, posting welcome home signs, and applauding. For most of them it was a very emotional time. 

Those attending from Elk Mound were: wife, Denise; daughter Wendy (born while Butch was in Vietnam) and husband Gene, children Tyler, and Quintin and guest Kendall; daughter-in-law Sherina and children Janelle, Hunter and guest Holly; Sherina’s parents Dennis (who had previously been on an Honor Flight) and Pat Wood, and sister Debbie Brown of Black Earth.

For more information and/or an application go to

WELCOME HOME, BUTCH! David “Butch” Jensen’s grandchildren greeted him with posters following his Badger Honor Flight on April 8, 2023. From left to right are: Tyler, Janelle, Quintin & Kendall, Hunter and Holly. —photo submitted

1 Comment

  1. Jan Swenson on April 18, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    You do Elk Mound Proud Butch and family!!! Well deserved, thanks for serving!!

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