APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – About 100 veterans will be in Washington, D.C. Wednesday for a very special mission in their honor.
Mission 52 of the Old Glory Honor Flight is taking local veterans to our nation’s capital to visit war memorials and monuments. The flight took off from Appleton International Airport at about 6:40 a.m.
“Our whole organization exists for the sole purpose of saying thank you to generations of warriors that went to battle for this country,” says Drew MacDonald, President of the Old Glory Honor Flight.
For one day, local veterans embark on the journey of a lifetime. The Old Glory Honor Flight has been honoring those who served with a one-day tour of Washington D.C. A journey that brings with it memories and, for some, anticipation.
“Just seeing all of the monuments and being with my brothers from the service and taking the tour,” said Lee Erickson. “It should be fun.”
Erickson, an Army veteran, signed up for Mission 52 in honor of his late friend and fellow comrade, Bob Sock. His memory lives on in a photo Erickson carries with him for the day’s mission.
“We enlisted on a buddy plan. We only saw each other once in basic training and after that it was you go your way and I go my way. He ended up in Vietnam.”
Before Mission 52, many of the veterans had not seen the memorials in person. Even for those who have, the monuments haven’t been seen before with so many of their fellow comrades.
“It brings it to a whole new level when you’re out there visiting these memorials and the people next to you went through that same experience, especially the Vietnam vets,” said Drew MacDonald, President of the Old Glory Honor Flight. “When they look at that wall, they’re seeing a face- they’re not jsut seeing a name like we do, they’re seeing the face of an 18, 19 or 20-year-old young man or woman that’s on that wall. It’s an emotional experience.”
An experience that surely won’t be forgotten.
Mission 52 will be landing at Appleton International Airport tonight at about 8:15. Members of the public are invited to welcome home the veterans at that time.