ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — The second Honor Flight of the Appalachian Highlands left from East Side Freewill Baptist Church Friday morning with 20 veterans to visit the war memorial monuments in Washington D.C.

“We are full of excitement, and it is a great honor that we are entrusted to take these veterans to Washington D.C.,” said Honor Flight President Michelle Stewart.

These Honor Flight trips are meant to honor veterans for their service, including by welcoming them when they arrive back home since many did not receive warm welcomes when they returned from service.

“This’ll be something you’ll always remember,” said Vietnam veteran Richard Sells. “It’ll make you feel better about coming home. Like you finally get a welcome.”

Sells went on the trip four years ago but goes on this trip as a guardian. Sells will be acting as a guide to the other veterans.

Veterans load the bus as family members say their goodbyes.

He said he’s looking forward to visiting the Vietnam memorial again where his best friend’s name is displayed and showing the other veterans the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He said the Changing of the Guard is particularly powerful.

Moments like these bring on what they call “Honor Flight Allergies,” a few sniffles and tears when emotions come up.

“Many of them did not get a welcome home,” said Stewart. “Many of them have not been welcomed like they were this morning, so it is an opportunity for them to realize that our community is grateful and is thankful.”

Kids from a nearby elementary school wait for veterans to drive by.

Just down the road, children at East Side Elementary School wait outside to give the veterans a proper send-off. Many were waving flags and holding up signs they created.

Veterans paraded to the elementary school. They were led by motorcycles, military vehicles and police officers.

If you would like to follow the veterans on their weekend trip, you can do so by getting on the Honor Flight of the Appalachian Highlands Facebook and Instagram page.

The veterans return from their trip at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The public is invited to welcome them back at East Side Freewill Baptist Church.