Honor Flight Bluegrass takes veterans to Washington D.C. for Her - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Honor Flight Bluegrass takes veterans to Washington D.C. for Heroes reception

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDRB) -- The page is about to turn on a pivotal chapter in American History.

In just a few short years there will be no more first hand accounts of what it was like to serve in World War II from the veterans who were there. There are just a few short years left to tell these veterans 'thank you,' and that's the mission of these Honor Flights.

A short trip from Louisville and a Heroes reception at Reagan National in D.C. Then a trip back in time to World War II.

"I thought it was my job and my duty to serve," said Leonard Ferrell, World War II veteran. 

"We did what we had to at the time," said Ed Maloney, World War II veteran.

It's been more than 70 years, yet still a flood of memories comes back for some. 

"A lot of my buddies died," said Vincent Gramarossa,  

Next stop, the Korean War Memorial. A war dubbed "forgotten." 

"I guess I could I could say 38 thousand of my brothers didn't come back, okay. I don't know how else to say it but that's what it meant," said Korean veteran Bill Carr. 

Then reliving the pain of Vietnam. Both on foreign soil, then here at home.

"I thought there was going to be a welcome home party, police were out there, protesters, they had it roped off so they couldn't spit on me. It was rough," said Larry Burton, Vietnam veteran.

There is no more sobering place in America than Arlington National Cemetery. The sacrifice of war, in plain sight. Graves stretch far as the eye can see. There are 400 thousand buried here 

"It's beautiful but you think about how many men died for our country," said Marvin Kelly, Korean War veteran.

About 80 veterans are part of this honor flight. They come to DC paired with a loved one or volunteer. Honor flights from Kentucky have been offered to veterans since 2008. They are funded solely through donations. 

"This is my 17th flight. It's a labor of love. It's a wonderful day to be with them here and see everything," said Doug Foster, director of Honor Flight Bluegrass.

The purpose of all of these monuments in Washington is carry on the stories when veterans themselves are no longer here to tell them. And Knowing their stories won't be forgotten...is the peace veterans get from these honor flights.

Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved. 

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