Vets ready for Honor Flight to Washington

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Saturday morning, more than 90 World War II Veterans from the Wiregrass will travel to Washington D.C. as part of an Honor Flight to see the memorial built in their honor.

A hero's welcome greeted Veterans back in May, when they returned from the first Wiregrass Honor Flight.

Jim McGhee, Director of Communications for the Wiregrass Honor Flight says that this is something they'll remember for the rest of their lives.

And WWII Veteran Jake Jones agrees.  He said, "Is a wonderful thing to have the opportunity."

He is one of the vets travelling with the group.  He says that getting on a plane always reminds him of the first few times he ever rode in a plane, which was during his service with the Airborne.

He said, "The first ten times I went into an airplane, I didn't land, I jumped out."

The flight comes at no cost to the veterans.  It is paid for by contributions from the community.

Jones says, they told him all he'd have to do was show up, and they'd take care of the rest.

The veterans have an exciting yet exhausting day ahead of them.  They'll arrive at the airport around 5:00 a.m., fly to Washington D.C. for sightseeing and tours, and then return back later that evening.

Jones said, "It's going to be a long day, but I look forward to seeing the memorial and meeting Bob Dole.  He's a real hero, and also meeting some new friends on the flight."

This will be Jones's first time to the memorial, something that's common among participants.

McGhee says most of the veterans that he has talked to, will be making their first visit to the Memorial.

And as he and all the vets prepare for the trip of a lifetime, they say there will be a lot on their minds.

Jones said, "It will remind me of a lot of things that happened back them and the sacrifices so many people made."

McGhee said that the veterans talk the most about the gratitude that they feel to be honored in such a magnificent way.

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