Veterans head to Washington as Honor Flight trips resume
BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - A dozen veterans returned to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford over the weekend with a motorcycle escort and a warm welcome from a crowd of family and friends.
It was the first trip for the region’s Honor Flight organization since the pandemic began over two years ago.
The group of veterans included 11 men and one woman. They spent the weekend visiting memorials in Washington, DC, and making memories they said they would never forget.
“This trip will be one of the highlights of our entire lives,” one of the veterans told the audience.
“We’ve been treated with the most kindness and respect,” said another.
“We’re all one. We’re all one,” added a third.
It was also emotional for the ‘guardians’ who looked out for each of the veterans.
“There was just such an outpouring of love and respect,” said one of those who helped the veterans.
“I enjoyed it more than you will ever realize,” said another. “It was a trip of a lifetime for me.”
Organizers said they were happy to resume the trips that were suspended as the pandemic unfolded.
Martin Leamy is the President and CEO of Central and Southwest Virginia Honor Flight, a hub of the National Honor Flight Network.
“These trips are an opportunity for these veterans to heal, get closure and finally to get thanks for their service to the nation,” he said.
The regional organization makes two trips to Washington each year, with the next scheduled in October.
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