MEDFORD, Ore.– More than a dozen veterans returned to the Rogue Valley Sunday after taking part in an honor flight to the nation’s capital. The non-profit takes wartime veterans to Washington D.C. at absolutely no cost to them so that the men and women who’ve served can visit the memorials that honor them.
On Sunday families and friends gathered to greet them in the Rogue Valley International Airport terminal and celebrate their service. It was a special moment as Sunday was also Father’s Day.
“What a better way to honor these fathers that served their country then to have such an emotional trip end up on Father’s Day with us bringing them back to their families,” said Terry Haines, a veteran and coordinator for the Honor Flight.
Twenty-three veterans from the Korean War, World War II, and the Vietnam War were taken on the trip. It included a 100-year-old female veteran who served in the army. Another Honor Flight is scheduled for early spring.
One World War II veteran, 94-year-old Walter Dye, was among the veterans on the trip and was joined by one of his daughters. When he arrived in the terminal, he was greeted by his three other kids and his wife of 74 years, Dorothy Dye.
For him the trip was amazing.
“Fantastic. You see a lot of things in a short period of time,” he said. “So we’re still a little tired.”
But seeing his family was the cherry on top.
“Got my whole family here!” he said with a smile. “Can’t beat that.”
If you would like to donate to support one of the flights or learn more, you can do so at the Honor Flight of Oregon website.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.