World War II Veterans Take Off On Hero Flight

By: Morgan Demmel Email
By: Morgan Demmel Email

Fifty central Nebraska World War II veterans received a hero's send off today. They're on their way to Washington, D.C. for Hall County's second and third Hero Flights.

Organizers say it'll be the first time most of the veterans have been to the nation's capital.

"The experiences they had, the sacrifices they made, this really is a way for them to close the loop and to honor their fallen brethren," Hero Flight Committee Vice Chair Don Smith says.

They'll experience the World War II memorial as well as other memorials and participate in a wreath ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Organizers say it's the least they can do to thank the veterans for their service.

"We owe them so much for how we live today, so it's just overwhelming," Hall County Veterans Service Officer Don Shuda says.

Veterans who took the first hero flight out of Hall County in September say it's an opportunity they hope all veterans will get to experience.

"It's not just seeing a bunch of monuments," Lyle Knott says. "It's more than that. It's really something that you don't forget."

Jesse Gilmer adds, "it gives you butterflies in your stomach, makes you proud of the country, and proud of the people that recognize you."

Organizers say after these flights, all Hall County World War II veterans who wanted to take a hero flight will have done so.

They also say there are no immediate plans for future World War II hero flights out of Hall County, but they'd like to look into organizing one for veterans of other wars.

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