Veterans prepare for 10th Hero Flight

Published: Oct. 3, 2019 at 9:16 PM CDT
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Many veterans in Nebraska are starting to get ready for this year's Hero Flight to Washington DC. This is the 10th year for the flight and organizers say each year is just as meaningful as the first.

They get to visit all the of monuments and memorials in their honor. This year 75 veterans are taking the trip.

Organizers say this event lets them have the welcome home they deserved years ago but never received.

"When we came home, there was no homecoming at all," Mike Ponte, Chairman of the United Veterans Club, said. "They loaded you on a train or bus and you came home and that was it. It's very emotional for me and all the other vets."

They also say it gives them the chance to open up and talk with other veterans about what they have been through.

"So many of our veterans kept their life of time in service hidden," Veteran Services Officer Don Shuda said. "It was just a part of their life that they never talk to anyone about. So this gives them the opportunity to share their stories with other veterans who are familiar with what they went through."

The group is leaving early Monday morning out of Grand Island and will be coming back on Wednesday evening. The public is invited out to the airport to help welcome them home that day. They're expecting the flight to land around 6:30 pm.

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