Group of veterans returns from first Nevada Honor Flight since Feb. 2020

Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 10:56 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Welcoming our veterans back.

For the first time since February 2020 a group of military veterans got to go on a Nevada Honor Flight. The latest trip took 43 vets to Virginia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and everywhere in between.

“Watching them turn the corner at the airport, see a bagpipe, see people cheer - that’s where it kicks in,” Honor Flight Nevada Founder Jon Yuspa said of the emotions when veterans return home.

Sunday morning a man playing bagpipes helped escort the veterans through Reno-Tahoe International Airport before stepping outside to a sea of hundreds of supporters.

Ken Santor is one vet who went on the Honor Flight.

“These were all strangers last Thursday,” Santor said of meeting veterans who served in wars outside of the Korean War where he served. “Now we’re all family. It’s great. I’ll remember them and they’ll remember me.”

Barney Wadley remembers the memorials he and other veterans stopped at back east.

“You see it, and it sends chills up and down your spine,” the Vietnam War veteran said.

For Wadley the trip to Arlington Memorial Cemetery will resonate with him forever.

“We actually watched them bring in one of the 13 service members killed. That was incredibly moving for all 43 of us veterans that were there.”

There was a level of appreciation for all involved. Yuspa says these flights give veterans a unique platform.

“They want to share their stories before it’s too late. Young kids now want to hear it. They see them as a celebrity or a piece of living history. They’re seeing them in different perspectives.”

Honor Flight Nevada is planning more trips this fall and winter.

For ways to get involved, click here.

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