A Warm Welcome Home For The Return of Third Honor Flight Nevada
A huge homecoming was held Sunday afternoon at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, as the participants from Honor Flight Nevada made their way off the plane.
More than two dozen veterans got to go to Washington, D.C. It's the third flight for Honor Flight Nevada, which takes veterans on an all-expenses-paid trip to our Nation's Capital thanks to the community's support.
"It's not just for the 30 World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans, it's for the whole community," said Jon Yuspa, Chairman of Honor Flight Nevada. "It's to show the veterans who couldn't come here that we still respect them, and we honor them."
The official Nevada One plane from Southwest Airlines landed, and the welcoming party got into place. Once the first veterans came out of the gate, the applause was thunderous!
"The applause we got almost brought tears to your eyes," said Brad Bryant, a veteran with the U.S. Navy
"It's just amazing that so many people would show up," said R.L. Nowlin, another Navy veteran.
Nowlin was aboard the USS Cowpens (CVL-25) aircraft carrier which was used against Japan during World War II.
Once the veterans got downstairs to the lobby, they were met by a large crowd with people holding signs thanking them for their service.
"They're the ones that put their service on the line and their lives on the line for the freedoms that we enjoy," said Diane Olvera with the John C. Fremont Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Brad Bryant has fought in World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars.
""When you come home from World War II, you were a hero," he said. "When you come back from Korea, you were a professional and nobody don't want to know about you. When you come back from Vietnam, you were a baby killer, and they spit at you."
On Sunday, the reception was different with plenty of appreciation coming from the crowd.
Without Honor Flight Nevada, veterans like Brad and R.L. may never have been able to see the monuments built in their honor.
"The World War II Memorial was beautiful," Bryant said. "The Changing of the Guard was exceptional."
"The most spectacular was the Iwo Jima monument," R.L. said. "It just makes you cry, but it's all interesting."
If you are interested in getting involved with Honor Flight Nevada, whether it's going on the next trip or volunteering, you can get more information by calling (775) 323-9955 or by going to http://honorflightnv.org/