Saturday , May 25 2024

Young Supporters Greet Honor Flight Vets in DC

Although this was the first trip to our nation’s capital for many of the veterans, some of them say they had an idea of what to expect on the trip. What they didn’t expect was the support of young people here in Washington, D.C.
 
From the moment these war heroes set foot on the East Coast, people have gone out of their way to show support for all 65 veterans on the Central Valley Honor Flight.
 
While California’s war heroes were approached by people of all ages, they are recognizing a group who is providing them with the most applause and acknowledgement.
 
"I gave high fives to all of them. I’m so proud of them you know?" World War II veteran Louis Altadonna said. "These are American kids. We are so proud of them it is unbelievable."
 
"I mean I got goose pimples from the emotion of seeing the enthusiasm of these youngsters," Phil Lopez, an 88-year-old World War II veteran, said.
 
The thrill of this heroes welcome overwhelms most of the veterans with joy, but at the same time the agony of knowing just how much it would’ve meant to their fallen comrades.
 
"We’re thankful that we’re recognized for what we did and in the back of my memory is the others and I lost a couple of buddies, but it’s nice to be recognized," says World War II veteran Robert Welsh
 
People young enough to be the great grandchildren of these veterans continued to praise the service and sacrifice of these men and women.
 
Some of the veterans say it took them back to a time when they were teens.
 
"I was 19 when this happened," says World War II veteran Albert Henderson. "Thinking of 19-year-olds now protecting me I would’ve been a little hesitant, but since then I’ve kind of changed my way of thinking."
 
Knowing their contributions as teens helped win World War II, these now aging veterans reflect on that experience and believe future generations are capable of amazing things at a young age.
 
"Hopefully they will see and be inspired that if they can do it we can. Like one lady asked me, she said, ‘you served in World War II?’ I said, ‘yes ma’am’ and she said ‘you don’t look old enough.,’" recalls David Howard. "I said, ‘well that’s because I was just out of high school. I was just a kid.’ But there were millions of us just kids who stepped forward when we had to."
 
All of the veterans on this Honor Flight are in their 80s and 90s. They hope to pass on the traits that earned them the title of the Greatest Generation.

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