Eighty-eight veterans spent Monday visiting the war memorials built in their honor in Washington D.C.
The 16th Never Forgotten Honor Flight took off from Central Wisconsin Airport around 7 a.m. Monday morning.
The veterans are expected to return to CWA around 10 p.m. The public is invited to welcome them back. It's advised you arrive around 8:30 p.m. Monday.
“It brings back a lot of memories. Standing in line waiting... the whole bit,” explains Jerry Evans, a Korean War Veteran and Marine.
“I think seeing the Marine Corps. Memorial, that has to be number #1 on my boat,” he said Monday morning before leaving.
For a fellow Korean War Veteran, Al Johnson, this trip is all about someone else. “I'm looking forward to honoring my younger brother More than anything else. That's number one. And he deserves it,” Said Johnson.
Al's brother, Jack was killed during the Korean War. And since he was in the Navy, Al wouldn't have been able to escort his brother's body back to the United States.
“Army people escort army people, and navy people didn't have that option. So, I kept trying different ways, and my commander said 'I know an admiral. I'll call him up and see if we can do something.' Because I wanted to escort his body home,” explain Johnson.
“The general said, 'Just transfer him to the army for 45 days, he can go down and pick up his brother's body when it arrives in Oakland, California, and take him back to Stoughton.' Where we buried him in Stoughton,” he said.
So Al is taking this trip to honor his fallen family member.
“They're going to do a ceremony with an empty wheel chair, and I have a 48 flag in my backpack, because at that time, there was only 48 states. So we're looking forward to a good day”
Again, if you want to welcome Al, Jerry or any of the veterans home Monday night. You can do so by arriving at CWA prior to their arrival. If you do plan to go, you're asked to arrive by 8:30 p.m.
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