WASHINGTON, D.C. (KELO) Midwest Honor Flight took 121 Vietnam veterans to Washington D.C. on October 9. It was the organization’s second-ever Vietnam veteran-only flight. 

“It’s probably one of the greatest, most emotional things that I’ve had happen,” Navy veteran Steve Butterfield said. 

Butterfield went to Washington, D.C. 10 years ago for his wife’s birthday. 

“At that time, I tried to get the rubbing of a name off the wall and I wasn’t tall enough to do it, and today, I got that rubbing. Floyd Charles Nevins. He was my cousin’s husband. The day that Chuck was killed was the day that my mother was working for Raven Industries, and she sewed the first body bag that went to Vietnam,” he said.

KELOLAND’s Carter Schmidt spoke with Army veteran Ken Bodewitz at the airport before leaving Sioux Falls.

“I have some close friends I was just looking up on my phone. Their names are on the wall. Some of my good buddies,” he said. 

Robert Nolan was in the Air Force in 1966. He was at the wall with a picture of himself when he was 20 years old. 

“We were responsible for, unfortunately, a lot of the returning veterans who were killed. We sent many of them home in aluminum caskets,” he said. 

Army veteran Harry Moshier found the name of a friend from his hometown on the wall. 

“He joined the Army the same time I did. Matter of fact, he didn’t join, he got drafted and me and another kid said, ‘well, we’ll both just join and go with you,'” he said. 

Seeing the memorial was an emotional experience for him. 

“When you walk past here and see all the names and stuff, people that go killed, and for what?” Moshier said. 

Navy veteran Chuck Sloggett was in Vietnam for about three months. 

“My experience when I got back and we would go into a, fly into a town some place on what we would call a remain overnight, and we would go in on Liberty, and they told us, ‘Don’t wear your uniform.’ And I experienced some of that seeing how some of the guys were treated that were in uniform, and it wasn’t good. And to see something like this, to have all the people clapping for us when we come to some of the memorials. Very touching,” Sloggett said. 

It makes it even more special these Vietnam veterans were able to see Washington, D.C together. 

Schmidt: “What’s been the greatest part of this trip for you?”

Sloggett: “Seeing the other vets. Seeing all the memorials. It’s been, in my experience, unbelievable. Another bucket list checked off.”

“Everybody is here from different walks of life. All do different things with their life, but we always have that it common. It’s been a lot shoved into one day, but it’s been a lot of fun,” Nolan said. 

“It’s enjoyable. They all understand,” Moshier said.