Thirty-three veterans are returning back to the tri-states from a whirlwind trip to Washington D.C. in the latest mission for the Honor Flight program.
The group will fly from Baltimore to St. Louis, then receive a hero's welcome upon arrival at the Hannibal Quality Inn & Suites. You're invited to welcome the veterans home when they're scheduled to arrive around 11 p.m.
During today's trip, the group made a visit to the Korean War memorial and World War II memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and Iwo Jima memorial.
The Great River Honor Flight program was originally geared towards allowing WWII Veterans to visit Washington D.C. to see their memorials. But thanks to the continued support from the tri-states, the 15th Honor Flight has more Korean War veterans making the trip than ever before.
Bob Galloway was a pilot in the Korean War. He said when he goes to the Korean Memorial in Washington D.C. he's going to remember all those he flew with.
"We developed a very close bond comradery with all of our flyers and most of my crew was shot down about six months after I left, so now this brings back all those memories after all those years," he said.
David Mobley, an official with the Program, says because so many WWII veterans have already gone on the flight, it's opening up the door for other veterans.
"Basically most of the WWII Veterans have already gone that are going to go although we're still getting a few so to take it to the next step, we've offered it and we've got a lot of Korean veterans who are willing to go," he said.
Over the last three flights, Korean Veterans have been mixed in with WWII Veterans. In fact officials said this flight is the highest ratio they've seen of Korean to WWII Veterans. And this is something Galloway won't forget.
"I'm really excited to go back and I think it'll be rather emotional but I'll live with that but I think it's a great thing, probably one of my highlights," he said.
After this trip, the Great River Honor Flight will have flown 455 veterans over the last three years to Washington D.C.
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