SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Forty-eight veterans from Utah left on Friday morning for a special opportunity. The Utah Honor Flight set out to take the Vietnam veterans to visit the nation’s capital to visit the war memorials.
This is the first time the Utah Honor Flight was able to take an entire group of Vietnam veterans to the memorials and commemorate their service to our country.
Veterans that spoke to ABC4’s Brittany Johnson said the Vietnam soldiers never received a proper ‘”thank you” when they got back from war, and this trip to celebrate them is long overdue but appreciated.
“We hardly didn’t want to tell anybody that we had been to Vietnam because it wasn’t a popular war. For us that are going it means an awful lot,” said David Kilfoyle one of 48 veterans on the trip.
This is one of the reasons Nate Wade Subaru felt it was necessary to make this trip possible.
“These are people that made this country great — from all the veterans not just the Vietnam veterans but everyone who served this country. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without these people’s service,” explained Kirk Schneider, Owner of Nate Wade Subaru.
With help from the community, Nate Wade Subaru donated $40,000 to send the veterans on the once in a lifetime trip.
The sendoff celebration took place Friday at 3:30 a.m. at the Utah National Guard Readiness Center Armory in Salt Lake City.
Following the ceremony, the group made their way to the Salt Lake International Airport where they were welcomed with a standing ovation.
The Utah Pipe Band then escorted the group to their gate to help send them off in style.
The veterans are set to make their way back to Utah on Saturday.
If you know a veteran that would like to see the memorials is Washington D.C., or if you want to make a donation to the Utah Honor Flight, click here.