GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Vietnam and Korean War veterans were welcomed home at Towering Oaks Baptist Church after an Honor Flight trip to Washington D.C.

Honor Flight of the Appalachian Highlands is a nonprofit organization that transports veterans to visit war memorials in Washington at no expense.

“We take them there to see the memorials that are built in their honor,” said Heather Osburn, Honor Flight of the Appalachian Highlands Board Member. “A lot of the guys have lost best friends in the war, right there beside them. And that’s one of the things that helped them to somehow cope and recover from some of this trauma that they’ve experienced for years.”

Larry Trent, a Vietnam Marine veteran, says the Iwo Jima Marine Corps War Memorial was his favorite.

“It was pretty powerful you know, seeing the monument being a Marine myself,” said Trent.

Trent says he lost many friends during the Vietnam War. One memorial that was hard for him to see was the Vietnam Wall. He struggled to see a Vietnam Wall replica when it came to Johnson City, TN.

“I lost a lot of friends, one particularly real close friend and it really kind of messed me up for a couple of weeks,” said Trent. “I’ve suffered from PTSD through the years.”

At first, Trent said he wasn’t going to visit the Vietnam Wall in Washington. Then, the next day he felt more at peace.

“I used to say it’s not the healing wall, it’s the wall that opens wounds,” said Trent.

Trent says being on the trip with other Veterans put him at ease.

“It’s like a brotherhood,” said Trent. “You immediately just hit it off. It’s like you already knew them for years. So as we come upon each other, we just start laughing and talking it’s just like I’ve always known them.”

Trent says they share a bond that only Vietnam veterans share.

“Nobody can understand what we went through, unless you are a Vietnam veteran,” said Trent.

Honor Flight makes sure that veterans are welcomed home from their trip. Which is something they might’ve not had when returning from war.

“They weren’t treated the best at that time and this is something that they truly deserve,” said Osburn. “They deserve a great welcome home. They deserve so much more than what we can actually give them.”

Trent reflects on seeing the welcome faces on the trip’s send-off and return.

“That was exciting,” said Trent. “That was touching and the little kids lined up their flags as we went off. I thought, ‘I hope these little boys and girls, I hope they never had to face what we faced.'”

Organizers say the honor flight trip is an experience of a lifetime for many veterans.

“I think this trip has been healing for me and I would recommend it for anybody,” said Trent.

The next honor flight of the Appalachian Highlands will be May 5 -7. To submit an application, visit their website.