Upcoming Honor Flight means lifetime experience for two friends - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Upcoming Honor Flight means lifetime experience for two friends

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

We're just days away from the 17th mission of the Great River Honor Flight.

This trip marks the 500th veteran from the Tri-States that will make the trip to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials. 

For two veterans that will be on Thursday's flight, this marks yet another milestone in their friendship. Thirty-three veterans, eight from World War II and 25 from the Korean War, sat quietly in the cafeteria of John Wood Community College on Sunday as they were being prepped for the upcoming trip.

But for Hayden Adkison and Donald Ince, who've been friends since they were little boys growing up in Louisiana, Missouri, this trip means more than just a visit to our nation's capital.

Whether it's visiting the grave of an old friend at Arlington National Cemetery, witnessing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, or even the escort home from a motorcade of motorcycles.

These are the memories that belong to those of Honor Flight veterans past, memories Hayden Adkison, a Korean and World War Two veteran and Donald Ince, also a World War Two veteran, hope to make together on Thursday.

"We've probably known each other since I was four, so 80 years," said Adkison.

"We went 12 years of school with each other in the same building, and it's just an honor to be able to go with each other,"said Ince.

The two friends say they were virtually inseparable. Until, they graduated high school.

"They went down and enlisted, that's what we did, everyone of us just went down and signed up, he went to the Marines, and I went to the Navy," said Ince.

And now decades later, both men say they are ready for the one day trip to Washington, D.C.

"Just spend some time with some old veterans and see the memorials," said Adkison.

"I have a brother that was in WWII ahead of me, five years older, and I'm looking forward to seeing his name on it," said Ince.

If you'd like to welcome the veterans back Thursday night, they're expected to be back around 10:30 p.m. at the John Wood Community College Basketball Arena in Quincy.

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