COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The World War II veterans who went on last weekend's Honor Flight had plenty of stories to tell, but so did the guardians who went with them.
Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer was one of those guardians. At one point during the trip, he broke off from the rest of the group to look for a part of his family history.
At Arlington Cemetery, Bauer weaved through the headstones to look for a number he pulled from memory: 1,042 - the headstone for his grandfather, Rudolph C. Bauer.
"He was a rear admiral in the Navy. Commander of the Midway when it was first commissioned. Executive officer. Spent his entire life in the military," Bauer said.
It was his time at the Naval Academy that led Admiral Bauer to the special plot of land on America's most hallowed ground.
Andre's grandfather is buried at Arlington with an amazing view of the national Capitol and it wasn't chosen randomly -- it was a favor.
"It didn't just happen this way. His classmate, he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1930. When he passed, the chaplain of Arlington had been in his graduating class, so he picked this spot," Bauer said.
It was on that spot, with that view, where Bauer, who never served in the military, opened up about his grandfather's generation and what it means for our country.
"We don't really appreciate it nearly as much as guys who put their life on the line and have seen their friends die in front of them, so it's a special time you get to come back and see where I haven't been in many years. My grandfather who made a career in the military, my dad spent many years in the military as well and I kind of scratch my head and say I wish I would've served a few years to get that experience, so it's a wonderful day," Bauer said.
Reported by Ben Hoover