Return to Vietnam: Arriving in Vietnam and finding closure

Published: Feb. 26, 2019 at 5:40 AM CST
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After a 14-hour flight, dozens of veterans from Wisconsin have arrived in Vietnam for the Old Glory Honor Flight Return to Nam trip.

Action 2 News at 4 anchor Jeff Alexander and video journalist Bill Kumbalek are traveling with the Honor Flight to document this remarkable and historic trip back to the country where the vets fought decades ago.

Jeff's reports will air nightly on Action 2 News at 10 and will be available on

Here's a snapshot of the arrival:

Jeff Alexander: "After a really

we boarded two buses for what turned out to be snowy, slippery, and windy three-and-a-half hour drive down to Chicago. From there we boarded a massive China-Eastern plane for a 14-hour flight from O'Hare to Shanghai, China. Four hours there, a layover. It was during our layover in China that we talked to some of the veterans about their feelings on the verge of being back in Vietnam."

Tom Schell, Kaukauna: "Yeah, I've been thinking about it for a long time. You know looking for a little bit more closure. There was some closure, but this one here I think it'll bring a little bit more closer. One thing that really bothered me more than anything is the Agent Orange part of it all."

Bob Smithers, De Pere: "I had a lot of guys that I lost there. I was a platoon sergeant and it was bad. So every time I go to the wall in D.C. I see their names up there and it bothers me, you know. But then you come home and get spit at that's crazy. Anyway I'm just happy to get with these guys because they're good men."

Jeff Alexander: "From Shanghai another four hours in the air and we finally made it to Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as these vets know it. And now we've just made it to our hotel and more importantly than anything it is time for these guys and all of us to get some rest. And tomorrow, eight hours from now it will be day one of their two week journey in Vietnam. And we of course will be with them every step of the way."

to learn more about Old Glory Honor Flight.