Fall 2012 Honor Flight Takes 70 WWII Vets to Memorial ( w/ Picture Gallery)

By Scott Sarvay
By Stephanie Parkinson

October 17, 2012 Updated Nov 12, 2013 at 4:13 AM EDT

Washinton D.C., (www.incnow.tv) - 70 World War II veterans from northeast Indiana visited the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. Wednesday. It’s a one day trip Honor Flight Northeast Indiana hosts twice a year.

The veterans leave from the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne and head to the nation’s capitol. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity because every vet who makes the trip with Honor Flight has never had the chance to see the memorial before which makes it a very emotional experience.

"It was a deep feeling about it so it's a strange in a way but it's good that so many people are interested in what really went on,” said Alberta Cook, WWII Veteran.

As all of the veterans toured the memorial they were greeted by Congressman Stutzman and a former Indiana general who honored one of the vets, 97-year-old Augie DiGregory, with a pin that was flown in combat in Afghanistan.

"May it be a reminder of the sacrifices you made and our appreciation as a grateful nation,” said Brig. Gen. David Brubaker (retired).

"I didn't expect to get anything like this, and it's a wonderful honor to have this pin,” said DiGregory.

"It's an amazing generation, and it's a wonderful opportunity to say thank you and to hear their stories, it just shows you the greatness of the WWII generation,” said U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, (R) 3rd District.

Each vet on the Honor Flight was joined by a guardian who stayed by their side for the entire trip.

"It's just an honor to be here, to escort and help these WWII veterans that have done so much for us. It's hard to fathom the sacrifice that they went through just to, free this country,” said Mark Gaines, Guardian.

After seeing the WWII memorial the vets made a stop at the Korean War Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. Some vets and their guardians also walked along the Vietnam Wall before heading to Arlington National Cemetery. There they saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and also toured the Women's Memorial.

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