GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- The Honor Flights of the Appalachian Highlands departed with 20 local veterans and headed to Washington D.C.
Thomas Sells, a local veteran on the trip, served in the Air Force for 24 years. He said this trip means a lot to veterans like him.
“I think it brings back a lot of memories for the veterans,” said Thomas Sells. “And it kind of brings them together like a second family.”
The trip to Washington D.C. starts April 21, and the veterans will return Sunday, April 23. They will be visiting multiple memorials held in their honor.
Richard Sells, another veteran on the trip with his brother Thomas, said he is most excited to see the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
“I like to visit the wall. My best friend got killed, his name is on there,” said Richard Sells. “And it’s just a moving thing, it’s different every year.”
The Honor Flight is a non-profit organization of independent hubs that work to give veterans an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. The April trip includes local veterans who served in Vietnam and Korea.
Heather Osburn is a board member of Honor Flight of the Appalachian Highlands, and she said this trip gives many veterans closure.
“They did not receive a proper going away, a proper welcome home,” said Osburn. “And a lot of them have not been appreciated the way they should be.”
Local law enforcement, fire departments, motorcycle groups and community members came out to Towering Oaks Baptist Church with decorated signs and American flags to give the veterans a farewell on their trip.
“This is a weekend that they truly are getting respect from everybody in Washington,” said Osburn.
The Next Honor Flight trip of the Appalachian Highlands will be on May 5.