Welcome them home again: Honor Flight plans second flight Saturday

Public may greet returning veterans Saturday evening at Dayton International

Honor Flight Dayton will conduct its second post-pandemic trip to Washington D.C. Saturday, to escort veterans visiting national memorials.

Taking an American Airlines charter flight to the nation’s capital will be 102 World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War-era veterans, with 88 guardians and Honor Flight staff.

On Friday, 64 wheelchairs will be delivered to Dayton International Airport.

ExploreHonor Flight Dayton taking local veterans today: Here’s how you can welcome them home

On Saturday morning, Honor Flight staff and 75 volunteers will be in place at 2:30 a.m., ready to welcome veterans arriving between 3 and 4 a.m. for the early morning flight.

“The Dayton International Airport is proud to be the host airport and work with Honor Flight of Dayton in this great opportunity to honor our veterans,” said Gil Turner, aviation director for the city of Dayton.

While in Washington D.C., veterans will visit the World War II Memorial, Korean Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and other sites.

Some 6,656 veterans have flown on Honor Flight of Dayton trips over the years.

The “real salute,” as Honor Flight corridor Commander Ray Girard put it, is when veterans return to the Dayton airport at about 9 p.m. (or later) Saturday.

Members of the public who wish to take part should be at the airport no later than 8 p.m. Saturday, Girard said.

Returning veterans will be greeted by the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Band, Miami Valley Young Marines, members of the armed forces and others.

The public is asked to bring signs, balloons and wear patriotic outfits.

“Be prepared for an emotional return from our veterans; be aware that 95% of the returning veterans served during Vietnam,” Honor Flight said in a release. “Many never talked about the war until this day. Those tears you’ll see are of joy.”

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