BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Fifty-seven veterans are now home in Western New York from the final Honor Flight of 2019. The trip allows them to visit the Washington D.C. memorials that were built for them, but there is so much more these veterans get to experience as well.
“I think this is fantastic. One of the greatest things I’ve experience in my entire life,” said George Harvey Roberts, a World War II and Navy veteran.
“I can’t explain it, it’s so great.”
Harvey Roberts found out he was selected for a flight six months ago, but in that time, he got sick and was sent to the hospital.
“It took quite a bit of bickering before they agreed to let me come out.”
He pleaded with doctors. He needed to go on this trip. He needed to experience this. They gave him the OK as long as he’d go straight back into the hospital once he was back.
Once he was there, George and the other vets were greeted with the utmost respect. Many of the places they go, clapping and cheering are commonplace. A police escort stops cars in their tracks for these vets.
Mary Grace served in the Vietnam War, as a nurse in the Army. She took care of countless wounded soldiers, but the hospital walls didn’t mean she was safe.
Grace is a Purple Heart recipient, visiting D.C. for the first time, and specifically for the memorial built to honor women who served.
“My heart was pumping to tell you the truth, it really was pumping like crazy. Everything I saw in there, it just hit me right in the chest.”
“Everybody should go on this tour, every veteran should go. It’s a fabulous time,” said James Tighe, a Korean War veteran.
Back at the airport, another amazing moment happened. A man who was heading out on another flight saw the group of veterans and asked an airline worker to use the public address system. He sang the national anthem, with these veterans and their guardians joining in.