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Iowa World War ll veteran celebrated in Washington D.C.

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 9:26 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - After a long morning of travel, nearly 100 Iowa Veterans were welcomed and celebrated in Washington Tuesday.

As part of the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight, these former service members had the chance to visit the National Memorials that stand in their honor.

“It was good,” said the group’s lone WWII veteran, James Taylor, who served in the Navy. Taylor made the trip to DC with his grandson, Lyndon Dudley

“We were supposed to go before COVID hit, but it got rescheduled. I am happy that I was able to do this with him,” said Dudley.

Easter Iowa Honor flight paused this tradition in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic made travel for older adults especially dangerous. Organizers said this is the first of several planned flights for the group this fall.

Through pictures and mementos, the veterans will likely cherish the memories they are making for years to come.

But, as they sit and reflect, many pause for a moment to think about their friends; their brothers and sisters in arms who are missing; the ones that never made it home.

“Just all the loss and what happened to these poor guys, men, and women. The unknown soldier, it all just really touches your heart, said veteran Lenard Smith.

The veterans will be welcomed back in eastern Iowa tonight with a celebration from the community. Those in attendance are required to wear face masks.

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