The 21st Central Valley flight departed Fresno for Washington, DC on Monday.
The flight was scheduled to take place in April 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.
During the two-year delay, 25 veterans who were to be on the flight died.
Each of these families received a shaded box with a photo of their loved one and a flag that made the trip to Washington.
As soon as the flight landed, the veterans paraded through the airport – a greeting that many had been waiting for a lifetime.
“It’s something I never realized when I left Vietnam – none of us got it,” said John Linan.
The oldest veterinarian on board was the 100-year-old Dr. Gilbert Stocks.
While in DC, the team of veterinarians visited war memorials and military museums built in honor of their service and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“The most important thing there was Arlington Cemetery,” Linan said.
“It’s overwhelming. Wherever you look, there are stones. It’s overwhelming,” Stocks said.
Both gentlemen had the honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a sacred work that few Americans will ever experience.
If you or a veteran in your life would like to sign up for a future honor flight, visit their website.
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