LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS 11) - They served our country and on Wednesday their bravery is being honored.
Close to 100 area veterans packed the Louisville International Airport to board a flight to Washington D.C. for an Honor Flight.
Whether serving in World War II, Korea or Vietnam, the participating men and women all share the common experience of defending America and on Wednesday they'll share the experience of visiting the monuments created in their honor.
“I've been so excited!” said Edythe Pitzer, a World War II veteran.
The Honor Flight program flies hundreds of veterans to Washington DC for the day every year, free of charge, an experience most have never had since coming home from service. Wednesday’s trip began early, at 6:00 AM. The veterans will not return until 9:30 PM after a day of touring the nation’s capital.
“I've been up and saw some but I've never seen the World War II monument since it was built,” said Jack Jenkins, a Korean War veteran.
“I want to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” said another veteran.
For some vets, the honor flight is about more than just sightseeing. It's a chance to meet and bond with others who have served.
“I'm basically the only vet in my family so there aren't a whole lot of people you can talk to about the experiences that you went through over there,” said Paul Wagner who served in the Vietnam War.
For Edyth Pitzer, she says she's looking forward to learning more about what her fellow World War II vets experienced.
“When I was stationed at a lot of places, we had no daily newspaper, no Sunday newspaper, no radio and I didn't really know everything that was going on,” said Pitzer.
It’s a day of lessons and sacrifice she says will forever be remembered.
There is a welcome home celebration Wednesday night at the Louisville International Airport at 9:30 where people can come out and greet the honored veterans after their long day in DC.