Veterans welcomed home at Kansas Honor Flight ceremony

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WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – The 75th Kansas Honor Flight returned home Friday, Sept. 20 to friends, relatives and supporters of the troops.

The Kansas Honor Flight left on Wednesday carrying four Korean War veterans and 38 Vietnam veterans for an all expenses paid tour of Washington D.C.

The veterans were guided through the nation’s capital visiting many of the historical monuments dedicated those that served with them, and those that served before them.

Friends and family lined up inside the Eisenhower National Airport to give retired servicemen a proper welcome home ceremony. A type of welcome many never received upon their initial return home from abroad.

“To welcome these guys home, you first have to realize they’ve never received a welcome home,” said Welcome Home Ceremony Lead, David Blanding. “So this is our way of honoring them and letting them know their service is appreciated.”

Blanding says the veterans build lifelong bonds throughout their trip, but some veterans are reluctant to go on honor flight.

“We get a lot of them that say, I don’t deserve it,” Blanding said. “What we tell them is, go for those who never came home, that you served with. Go in their honor.”

Honor Flight says they believe this experience gives veterans closure while giving them the chance to get to know other vets.

“Do it, just do it,” army veteran Charles Crawford said. “Don’t miss the opportunity, it was a terrific experience.”

To find out more about how you can donate, volunteer or apply to Kansas Honor Flight for the all expense paid Washington D.C. excursion for you, or a veteran you know, go to https://kansashonorflight.org.

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