Family and friends welcome home veterans from first Honor Flight

Posted at: 04/21/2013 7:50 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

More than 1,000 World War II veterans pass away across the nation each day and that's why Honor Flight Rochester makes it a priority to send local veterans to Washington, D.C. several times a year.

While in Washington, D.C. they reflect on those who were lost in the war and those who survived.

News10NBC was at the Greater Rochester International Airport Sunday morning for the very first Honor Flight of the year.

It was an emotional landing at the airport on Sunday as more than 40 local veterans came home to hundreds of friends, family and fellow military members.

They all gathered at the arrival terminal Sunday afternoon, waiting to welcome these men and women home.

The Honor Flight travelers had the chance to visit the War Memorial in the nation's capital. Together they reflected on those who were lost throughout World War II, the Vietnam War and the Korean War.

The organization was formed so that every veteran across the nation will have the chance to visit the memorial. They offer the trip for free to veterans of any era, especially those who suffer from a terminal illness.

Organizers call it a "gift" to the veterans for all of their sacrifices they made for our country. For many it was the only welcome home they have ever received.

“When we came home there was no parades or anything for us and so now this brings it all to a close after 60 some-years, we're finally home from the war,” said veteran John Woods.

This is the first of many honor flights throughout the year. There will be at least five more until October.

So far they have escorted more than 12,000 local veterans to Washington, D.C. since 2009.