Flight of Champions welcomed home

Published: Oct. 9, 2022 at 12:06 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Dozens of Korean and Vietnam War Veterans touched down at Austin Straubel International Airport Sunday night.

Community members started filling the airport hours before the Flight of Champions arrived.

They brought signs and flags to welcome home the Veterans.

Stars & Stripes Honor Flights sends World War II, Vietnam and Korean War Veterans to Washington D.C.

The Veterans typically visit Arlington National Cemetery, war memorials and the National Mall.

“It’s really healing for a lot of them. They feel a sense of calm after the fight... so it’s very important that we do this,” Secretary of the Board of Directors with Stars & Stripes Mark Stolaski said.

Stars & Stripes usually operates out of Milwaukee... making this Brown County landing extra special.

“We are so blessed with the community support of both Milwaukee and Green Bay... We’re not a household name up here and the public is coming out in droves,” Stolaski continued.

Vietnam War Veteran John Gable has a unique connection to honor flights.

He accompanied a World War II Veteran around a decade ago.

Now, it’s his turn.

“You can’t help but feel emotional. All of the people you’re with have done so much,” Gable explained. “Somehow you got all of Green Bay to turn out and that’s maybe the most moving part of the whole day.”

Wisconsin’s sports teams, including the Packers, Bucks and Brewers, helped make the flights possible.