WASHINGTON, D.C. – An Indianapolis organization is giving veterans the thanks that many of them never received when they returned home from war.
Indy Honor Flight takes retired service members on a trip to Washington D.C. to experience the monuments that honor their courage and bravery. Recently, CBS4 News was invited to join Indy Honor Flight for an exclusive look at the program.
In all, 178 Indiana veterans flew out to the nation’s capital last Saturday for a full day of sightseeing and reflection. The veterans all served in World War Two, Korea, or Vietnam. Each veteran brought along a “guardian”, typically a family member or friend to help them throughout the day.
Upon arrival in D.C., the group was greeted with fanfare at the airport from a band and lots of well-wishers welcoming them to town.
“It was one of the most glorious things I’ve been through,” said Jack Orebaugh, a veteran traveling with the group.
Throughout the day, the group visited the National World War Two Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Wall. They also witnesses a changing of the guard ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Many of these guys came home without a thank you, many of them had no opportunity to be thanked by their friends and neighbors,” said Indy Honor Flight Chairman Dale True, “we may be 75 years too late, but we’re making up for it today.”
For many of the veterans, this was their first time in Washington.
“It’s just a tremendous feeling to be able to come and see these memorials and what it all means,” said James King, who served in the Korean War.
Indy Honor Flight typically takes two trips a year. The organization is looking for both volunteers and veterans who would like to participate in upcoming trips. There is also a big push to find veterans of World War Two and Korea, since many of them are dying due to old age.
You can find more information about Indy Honor Flight by following this link.
Check out some images from the day, courtesy of Indy Honor Flight.