BOWLING GREEN, Ky (WBKO) --When a local Iraq veteran and housing manager at Village Manor Apartments in Bowling Green heard about the Honor Flight program for World War II veterans to visit Washington D.C., he knew a few of his residents were perfect for the trip.
The Kentucky Colonels sponsored the three day trip for Kentucky's World War II veterans to see the capital, and the memorial dedicated to them. Without the program, one local veteran says he would have never seen that memorial.
"Having been exposed to World War Two, I wanted to see that memorial, and it meant more to me than probably alot of them, so I thoroughly enjoyed the trip all the way," said WWII Veteran John Stone.
"I can't put into words the emotions that go into this trip... being with the guys that were on the ground... In the air and at sea during World War II.. and that time frame. That's the only time in out nation's history I feel like we were completely united," said Iraq Veteran and Honor Flight Volunteer Charles Payne.
It was stone's first trip and fellow veteran Louis Graham's second.
"I was in the 20th air force, and the twentieth air force was all B-29s in the South Pacific," said WWII Veteran Louis Graham.
The journey was like a trip down memory lane for both, a surprise to Graham who saw the first type of plane he ever flew in Owensboro, then it was on to a much bigger plane for the journey to D.C.
"Commercial planes now are alot like the cockpits of a B-24," said Graham.
Stone was one of a few veterans able to wear his uniform proudly during the trip.
"I felt first a little out of place wearing the uniform, but on the other hand, I felt I earned that and I was proud of it," said Stone.
And even the welcome home was unforgettable, with hundreds of people gathered as they arrived at the Louisville Airport.
"Each of them stuck their hands out, and would shake our hands and say thank you for your service. Everybody would say thank you for your service," said Stone.
Stone says many were children with special thank you notes for the veterans. Payne says the honor flight program offers multiple all-inclusive trips for veterans each year. For more information on the Honor Flights visit the link below.