SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A special sendoff for nearly 50 Utah War Veterans at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
“I appreciate all this and I’m glad I’m above ground to do this,” said Sgt. Monty Reed of the United States Air Force. Reed is among the 48 veterans that boarded an Honor Flight Sunday. Their destination? Washington, D.C. to visit the war memorials built in their honor.
“I know a couple of guys on the wall,” said Chad Badham, who served in the Navy. “I want to see that.”
To send them off, a crowd gathered and cheered as they prepared to take flight.
“I’m amazed that 50 years after the fact that people are finally recognizing what we did over there,” said Stuart Becher, a Vietnam War Veteran.
This trip is anticipated to be a milestone for veterans as they recall their time in active duty service.
To mark the occasion, Governor Gary Herbert, Senator Mitt Romney, and Representative Ben McAdams were among the well-wishers. “We’re inspired by what you stand for. What you do,” said Gov.Herbert. “So, enjoy your trip. Again, as I’ve said this year, a victory lap. An opportunity for you to go out there and feel good about the service and people you’ve influenced for good.”
“Only the United States of America has been willing to lay down the lives of its sons and daughters and take no land,” said Sen. Romney. “In fact, the only land we’ve ever taken is enough to bury our dead.”
“With our Veterans Day Weekend here, we pray for those who have passed on as well as for those who keep going in service of our country,” said Rep. McAdams.
The Honor Flight is an all-expense-paid trip for veterans. They’re scheduled to return on Tuesday afternoon.