WASHINGTON, D.C. (KELO) – 83 veterans traveled to Washington D.C. last weekend as part of Midwest Honor Flight. Three of those are Korean War veterans, while 80 are Vietnam veterans.
Some of the last stops for veterans during their trip to D.C. were the World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
A visit to the war memorials lets the veterans honor and remember those who served our country.
“It’s just the amount of names, when you see them all together, it’s mind boggling, and Korea too,” veteran Jerry Bauerle said. “I was in the Navy Seabees active duty for four years and I served in Vietnam from August 1969 to September 1970.”
Jerald Kroon is a Vietnam veteran.
“I was in Vietnam from 1964, summer then, we went outside the Tonkin Gulf for 90 days straight, just waiting, but luckily we never got called to shore,” veteran Jerald Kroon said.
There are over 58,000 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Gerald Brands is a Vietnam era vet, and spent time in South Korea.
“There’s a lot of names on there, I remember, every week, a lot of names were listed in the paper showing how many died over there,” veteran Gerald Brands said.
Some veterans say this trip has allowed them to share stories with others.
“Probably the camaraderie from some of the older veterans, we went through the same things together,” Bauerle said.
And receive the welcome home they may have never gotten.
“Just great to see us, now we got here, they recognize us, but when I came home, they didn’t recognize us,” Kroon said. “I’ll never forget this.”