RENO, Nev. 'A trip of a lifetime' and "Hard to explain' were some of the ways veterans described their trip to the nation's capital as they landed in Reno Sunday afternoon.
Honor Flight Nevada returned 33 veterans to Reno after taking them to Washington D.C.to view their respective memorials.
Honor Flights have transported veterans to the nation’s capital since 2005. Honor Flight is a non profit organization dedicated to helping veterans visit their respective memorials, including the National World War II Memorial.
So far they have sent more than 80,000 veterans to D.C.
This was the inaugural trip for Honor Flight Nevada.
"It was just amazing. I've never been to Washington DC before," Ed Cosens said.
As they stepped off the plane, hundreds of people greeted the veterans with waving flags and cheers. Many people in the crowd reached out to shake the veterans' hands or give them hugs.
"Most of them never got a welcome home," Jon Yuspa, founder of Honor Flight Nevada said. "This was their welcome home."
While every veteran said the trip was a once in a lifetime experience, it was the welcome home that gave them the biggest surprise.
"Well really no words can express the appreciation and thank you," Delmar Schwichtenberg said.
To take part in an Honor Flight, veterans must fill out an application.
Top priority is given to terminally ill veterans or World War II veterans who have never seen their memorial. In the future, Honor Flight Network will begin giving preference to veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, followed by veterans of more current wars.
To apply to be part of the experience as a veteran or a volunteer, visit www.honorflightnv.org.