WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLFI) - Although it was rainy in Washington, D.C, Monday, it didn't stop these men and women from making new memories.
Eighty veterans took to the sky and headed to our nation's capital. Krista Henery took part in the Honor Flight to tell their story.
Some veterans were at a loss for words, as they took a trip they say they'll never forget.
"You can't think, you can't explain this here," veteran William Fouts said.
PHOTOS | VETERANS FLY WITH HONOR
Monday morning, a combined 80 World War II and Korean War veterans from the Greater Lafayette area boarded a plane to Washington D.C. to visit their memorials as part of the Lafayette Honor Flight.
When these heroes landed, the welcome was warm. There was lots of clapping. There were complete strangers greeting them – something some veterans say they weren't expecting.
"It was just touching to see how they cared for us, and especially a black man," World War II veteran David Hubbard said.
"It makes me feel like I've done something in my life, like I've helped the world," veteran George DiPerro said.
"I'm just so thankful that the people with the Honor Flight chose me to come on this trip," veteran Vera Vanhook said.
They are the men and women who won a war, came home, and rarely talked about it because that was the expected way.
Hubbard says as he reminisced Monday, difficult memories from the day he came home from war, returned.
"I left the train station and went to the little shop across the street to get a milkshake. I went to the window and was greeted (with), 'We can't serve you,' and I'm just still in uniform and just being discharged," he said about his first day back.
As these heroes shared memories with one another, they made new friends.
"Talking to these people, they have the same kind of experiences, they went through boot camp, talking about basic training," DePirro said. "It's just been great conversation with everybody."
"I've met so many people here and it's kind of fun to do it!" Fouts said.
The veterans also remembered those who never made it home.
"All those fellas were never coming back and they were the unfortunate ones," veteran Harry Thomas said.
"It's a little sad coming here to see all this, you know?" Vanhook said. "It's just a nice memorial to everybody who lost their lives."
The day ended with a warm sendoff, and later, nearly 200 community members were waiting at the Purdue Airport to welcome them home Monday night.
"It's so awesome," Jannet Glenn said. It's so respectful of all these men that have served our country."
And now these men and women have new memories, about a time in their lives they'll never forget.
For more on future Honor Flights, head to Lafayette Gold Star Mothers' website.
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