WASHINGTON, D.C. (KELO) — Area veterans are savoring memories made on a Midwest Honor Flight trip they took Saturday to Washington, D.C.
Eighty-four veterans, their guardians and Midwest Honor Flight crew began the day in Sioux Falls.
Veterans received a warm welcome at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
The Marine Corps War Memorial was the day’s first stop. Stanley Larson is a Vietnam combat veteran; he joined the Marines in 1967 when he was 19 years old.
“I served in Vietnam for right around 4 months,” Larson said.
He was wounded in 1968 and eventually returned to the United States where he served two more years in California and Virginia. Larson says the men with whom he served were more than soldiers.
“It’s a brotherhood. Something about in the service like.. what we went through, it just makes you closer and tighter… Actually they are like family,” Larson said.
Cal Brouwer was Larson’s guardian on this weekend’s trip, which was actually the first time they met.
“It is such a privilege to get to know these guys and just hear part of their stories and what they all went through. We owe them so much,” Brouwer said.
Veterans witnessed the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Seeing all the gravestones left an indescribable impression on Larson.
“Mind boggling. It’s just overwhelming,” Larson said.
Larson is from Windom, Minnesota.