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Sharing Veteran Stories: An Honor

September 12, 2011, 7:55 PM

Sharing Veteran Stories: An Honor
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Many of at KELOLAND News were fortunate travel along on Honor Flight. The experience was unforgettable, and sharing the stories has been an honor.

Reporters aren't supposed to get emotionally involved in the stories they cover, but this story was different.

"I'm supposed to be on the outside, just telling the stories and watching, but you couldn't help but be moved by all of the different stories," KELOLAND News reporter and anchor Nicole Winters said.

"What I remember most about it, all these veterans that served out country and even though they're all 85, 86, 87 and even 90 years old, it seemed like they were almost elementary kids again going on a filed trip," KELOLAND News reporter Ben Dunsmoor said.

One of the best parts of the field trip was the "rock star treatment" the veterans received at the airports in Sioux Falls and Washington, D.C.

"When we got off the flight, there was music radiating through the airport, there were people crying, laughing, some of the veterans were even dancing," Winters said.

"There was music playing, there were flags put up, there were flowers, everybody was clapping, welcoming these guys and seeing the smiles on the veterans faces," KELOLAND News reporter Austin Hoffman said.

"These groups were waving flags, shaking hands, it's really a thank you that they deserve for the service they gave to our country," Dunsmoor said.

For all of our reporters, it truly was an honor, to be included in the Honor Flight.

"It was an absolute blessing in my life, each of these trips, each of the veterans on those trips and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything," KELOLAND News reporter Erich Schaffhauser said.

"It really does put a whole new light on what that war was about, what it did and, I think, why we won. They were very good at what they did. They're called America's Greatest Generation for a reason and that's the truth," Hoffman said.

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