Thousands give veterans a warm welcome home after Old Glory Honor Flight

Published: Oct. 18, 2017 at 10:59 PM CDT
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Thousands gathered at the Appleton International Airport Wednesday night to welcome local veterans back home after a trip to the nation's capital.

This year is the 43rd mission for "The Northeast Wisconsin Old Glory Honor Flight,” the organization providing the trips for the local veterans. Airport officials say about 1,500 people attended the ceremony, welcoming 89 veterans back from their trip to Washington D.C.

The mission of the Old Glory Honor Flight is to give World War II, Vietnam and Korean War veterans the trip of a lifetime at no cost.

Veterans head to Washington D.C. touring a number of monuments all in one day. When the veterans came back they are shocked to see the welcome ceremony. American flags, welcome signs and cheering lined the airport concourse as the veterans walked through.

Vietnam veteran David Mix has been on the honor flight in the past, he says he's been to almost every welcome ceremony.

"We just keep on coming and coming because it's our way of saying thank you to other vets for many many years ago, and when they came home they didn't get anything at all," said Mix.

"It's not just friends and family of the veterans but people from the community, they know about this, they come out, and a lot of people make this a tradition, so we're just honored, it's a privilege to be a part of this tradition for so many people here in the Fox Valley," said Thomas Nelson, Outagamie County Executive.

Mix says veterans always stick together, and this welcoming ceremony is something that the Honor Flight veterans will always remember.