The 7th Central Valley Honor Flight leaving Fresno/Yosemite International for Washington D.C. at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 16 will include at least three U.S. Army veterans with ties to Fresno State: former Bulldog hoopster/shortstop and Hall of Fame Fresno City College coach Len Bourdet, former Bulldog football player Bill Robinett and past Top Dog Outstanding Award recipient Sid Cox.
The send-off tomorrow morning will include alumnus Jack Hannah of Sons of the San Joaquin singing “God Bless America.”
Central Valley Honor Flight recognizes American Veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by sending them to Washington D.C. to visit their memorial at no cost. Top priority is given to WWII and terminally ill veterans from all wars.
The public is invited to the homecoming rally when this week’s flight of 67 local veterans returns to the Fresno airport at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 18 (Flight arrival updates posted at bit.ly/HonorFlight7Homecoming).
Bourdet, 89, who served in the 96th Infantry Division in the Battle of Okinawa, won four state baseball championships and tutored future major leaguers like Tom Seaver, Dick Selma, Jim Maloney and Mark Gardner.
Fresno State alumnus Cox, 84, who was stationed in Tokyo with the Army Signal Corps during Korean War, became a reporter and local public relations leader.
Robinett, 85, was a onetime Fresno State football player and is the grandfather of NFL defensive back Matt Giordano.
CVHF No. 7 veterans with Fresno State ties (provided by Paul Loeffler):
- Len Bourdet, 89, Fresno (Army)
- Sid Cox, 84, Fresno (Army)
- Jim Heitkotter, 92, Fresno (Army Air Corps)
- Merle Martin, 90, Fresno (Army Air Corps)
- Bill Robinett, 85, Fresno (Army)
- Lee Irwin, 86, Visalia (USMC)
- Henry Jacobo, Jr., Clovis (Army) accompanying his father Henry Jacobo, 93, Clovis (Army) – 745th Field Artillery Battalion WWII and uncle (his father’s brother) Rodrigo Jacobo, 85, Visalia (Army) – mechanic, Korean War