Final season of Honor Flight Northwest Ohio takes off - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Final season of Honor Flight Northwest Ohio takes off

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Bands, honor guards and proud family members waited for the veterans' return. Bands, honor guards and proud family members waited for the veterans' return.
Around 65 veterans came off the plane to waving American flags and friendly smiles. Around 65 veterans came off the plane to waving American flags and friendly smiles.
The veterans, including Paul Meyer, toured the Air and Space Museum. The veterans, including Paul Meyer, toured the Air and Space Museum.
Meyer saw the plane he flew on missions during the Korean War. Meyer saw the plane he flew on missions during the Korean War.
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

It was an emotional welcome back for dozens of local heroes who spent the day in our nation's capital. The final season of Honor Flight Northwest Ohio kicked off April 30. Around 300 veterans will visit Washington, D.C. this year.

Bands, honor guards and proud family members waited for them when they stepped off the plane.

Just before 8:30, about 12 hours after they left northwest Ohio, the veterans touched down to cheers from family and friends. A total of 66 veterans from World War II and the Korean War had spent the day touring Washington, D.C.

Ted Jenkins, a U.S. Marine Corp veteran of both wars, said the experience was a little emotional. 

"It was very impressive and it was rewarding to see the other fellows that were involved at the same time, too. So it was a great experience," said Jenkins.

One by one, veterans came off the plane to waving American flags and friendly smiles. They had to battle heavy rain and their schedule was altered. But they still managed to visit the memorials and take a bus tour around the city.

This is the final season for Honor Flight because the local chapter believes it has accomplished its mission. All of the veterans who wanted to make the trip in the last six years will have done so this year. 

"We have mixed emotions about it, but after all, it's about the veterans. And we want this season to be every bit as good as the previous ones," said Dave Chilson, with the Honor Flight board.

The veterans also toured the Air and Space Museum. Navy veteran Paul Meyer even saw the very plane he flew on missions during the Korean War. 

"I was quite surprised," said Meyer, who didn't expect to see it. "It was an old prop plane." 

But the memories still came back when he saw it, along with other veterans.

"I lost some friends, but it brought back a few memories about that, but also some pleasant memories, too," said Jenkins.

This was the 33rd Honor Flight in the last six years. There are three left, including one on May 21.

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