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Vets' whirlwind day ends with RDU welcome

Posted October 7, 2010
Updated October 8, 2010

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— The 100 veterans from the Triangle who traveled to Washington, D.C., on a Flight of Honor Thursday capped the day with a raucous welcome from thousands who gathered to greet them at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

The day-long, all-expenses-paid trip was made possible by donations from WRAL viewers.

"It one of the most special things that's ever happened to us, to my father-in-law," Carolyn Waters said. "(To) finally receive the honor that he deserves, along with all these other special veterans. This is what America is all about."

Flight of Honor takes veterans to see WWII memorial flight of honor Triangle Flight of Honor

The Flight of Honor organization sponsors the trips to take veterans of World War II to see the memorial in their honor.

Thursday's flight was the first from the Triangle. Two others are planned and donations are still being accepted online and at all Bank of America branches.

flight of honor Veterans celebrated in D.C., Raleigh

The group left from RDU early Thursday and visited the Iwo Jima, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials in addition to the WWII memorial.

At each step along the way, they were greeted by cheering crowds.

Thousands of family, friends and grateful area residents gathered at the airport for an emotional end to a long day of travel.

"I had a great time," veteran Guy Parsons said. "Everybody's been so nice. I just can't tell you how proud I am."

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  • saturn5 Oct 8, 2010

    My father served in France, Africa, and the Middle East in WWII. I wish he had lived long enough to see the memorial.
    Thank you all for your service!

  • North Carolina Home Oct 8, 2010

    Thank you all for your selfless contributions that enable us to enjoy the freedoms that you so bravely defended.

  • anggiet Oct 8, 2010

    My husband, oldest son and I were honored to be able to welcome home our heroes. It was a very humbling experience to be able to shake the hands & get some hugs from these brave men. I wish we could have met the two women veterans. Thank you for all you have done to fight for the freedom we enjoy today.

  • applesmith Oct 8, 2010

    Thank god for these heros. They should be role models for all. I have a great respect for these men.No where else can you find any better people with high morals and understanding of what it is to earn what you have and that hard work pays off.Thank god for there generation.