Local WWII Veterans Arrive Home After Visit to DC

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Nearly 100 World War II veterans are back home after flying to Washington D.C. Monday for the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.

Monday night a large crowd anxiously awaited the arrival of their heroes at the Central Wisconsin Airport.

"It's just mind-boggling, it's a beautiful experience, you can't describe it," said Lorraine Klapatauskas, who was waiting for her husband.

Family members, friends, and those just wanting to say thank you lined the concourse, waiting to shake the hands of the those who served so many years ago.

"Great, It's the greatest thing there is. I hope they have one for Vietnam and one for Korea," said Pandora Green.

Finally, the honored veterans, in their bright yellow jackets, made their way from the plane to the open arms of loved ones.

"We had a wonderful trip, everybody treated us like kings, couldn't be better," said Harry Dassler, who served in the army during WWII.

The trip to our nation's capitol may have been short, it only lasted one day, but it was something many of these veterans longed for.

For others, it was a chance to re-live an important time.

"It brings back memories and things like that. Things that I had forgotten because it was 60 some years ago," said Thure Osuldsen, who served as a marine.

It's the Never Forgotten Honor Flight's mission that every veteran has the opportunity to visit their war memorial. All vets have to do is fill out a form.. and the trip is free.

"They treat you so good, they fed us so much and helped everybody and it was just great. On the way back they had mail call they had people send letters, it was just one of the best days I had in a long time," said Robert Dums, who was an army airman.

The honor flight is made possible through donations from area businesses and individuals. The next trip is May 2nd. The organization is planning future flights for veterans of more recent wars.

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