SPOKANE, Wash. -- The final Honor Flight of the year was scheduled to take off Tuesday morning.
Don “Tuffy” Morton, 89, was one of the many veterans heading to Washington D.C. to see the memorials dedicated to them.
Morton grew up working in the mines in Kellogg, Idaho. He earned the nickname "Tuffy” as a high school wrestler. His daughters say, though, Tuffy is nothing but sweetness. They said they’ve never heard him say a bad word about anyone.
Today, Morton lives in Spokane. He suffers from short-term memory loss but he remembers his service as a marine vividly.
As a 20-year-old, Morton was a machine gunner in the Battle of Okinawa. He got hit by four bullets from his back to his shoulder. After his month-long recovery, Tuffy kept serving. Even after World War II was over, Morton served three months in China.
“We was mad about that cause we wanted to go home,” said Morton. “No, we went to China but after we got there, we got to liking it because the Chinese were nice people."
Morton received the Purple Heart for being wounded in the Battle of Okinawa. He still has the shrapnel inside of him. After the war, Tuffy and his wife drove a moving truck and helped people move across the country. Morton had never been to Washington D.C., however.
Tuffy’s two daughters planned to accompany him on Honor Flight. His family said they were happy Morton would get to interact with his comrades on the trip.