DAYTON — Honor Flight Dayton has announced that it will be conducting its next trip to Washington D.C., Sept. 23, escorting veterans to see their National Memorials at no cost to the veterans.
The honored guests will be 100 WW II, Korea, Vietnam and Cold War era veterans along with 89 guardians and HFD staff.
While in Washington D.C., the veterans will be visiting the WWII Memorial, Korean Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, USMC War Memorial, FDR Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery (including witnessing the Changing of the Guard at the Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers) and other sites.
“It is an exciting, long, and emotional day for them,” according to a release from HFD. “Many of the veterans that have previously been on an HFD trip have stated that this was one of the best things that happened to them. Being thanked by perfect strangers for their sacrifices decades ago is a life-changing event for the veterans and their families.“
The veterans will be returning to the Dayton airport at 9:30 p.m. where they will be greeted by the Wright-Patterson Air Force Band of Flight, Centerville Community Band, active members of the Armed Forces, and many other organizations along with families, friends and HFD alumni veterans. The public is encouraged to join us in thanking these heroes who fought for our freedom and give them a “welcome home.”
For those attending, it is suggested that you arrive at around 8 p.m. just in case the plane arrives earlier than planned. Bring signs, balloons, and wear patriotic outfits. Veterans are encouraged to wear their military ball caps. Be prepared for an emotional return from the veterans as 95 percent of the returning veterans served during Vietnam.
Many never talked about the war until this day and you will see plenty of tears of joy.
The Dayton International airport team is providing support during the preparation phase and will be on hand during the day of the trip to ensure smooth operation.
“The Dayton International Airport is proud to be the host airport and work with Honor Flight of Dayton in this great opportunity to honor our veterans,” said Gil Turner, director of aviation for the City of Dayton.