MOLINE, Ill. 103 vets are spending the day in Washington D.C. as a “thank you” for the service paid and the sacrifices made, for us all. 2 World War II vets, 11 Korean vets & 90 Vietnam vets are aboard Thursday’s flight.
Joanne Abbate explains why this means so much to her, “I think anyone that has put a uniform on and served their country... events like this are special to us because it knows that we are appreciated to the American public that we serve.”
While this will be a first-time trip for many, for Abbate, she knew the area well at one time, “I served on Andrews for 4 years and then on as a military spouse, so I spent 6 years in that area and I haven't been back since 1970 so I am really looking forward to this trip to see everything new that they've put in... or what's changed... the excitement of seeing something I haven't seen in almost 50 years.”
Often time, family members take the Honor Flight together but in this case, it’s the Three Musketeers- “We’ve always been very close together. We come from a small community. I mentioned to these guys I wanted to go... and I wanted them to come along on the same flight and they both agreed. So it was terrific I think,” says Gerry Green.
With a stacked schedule from the Air & Space Museum to Arlington National Cemetery, the crew aboard the 49th Honor Flight of the Quad Cities is ready to pay their respects. “It's going to be pretty difficult too. It's going to be overwhelming I'm sure,’ says Green.
It will be emotional for many, but they know it’s worth it. “I am looking for something I didn't get when I came home from Germany and I am going to enjoy it. Every bit of it,” says Wayne Swank.
When the vets touch down around 10:00 p.m. tonight, there is going to be a huge “Welcome Home” ceremony for them at the Quad Cities International Airport that all are welcome to attend.
You can read more about the Honor Flight of the Quad Cities here.