EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Veterans say they are ready for a reunion while making preparations for their Honor Flight on October 21.
It is a tradition which takes veterans to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C. free of cost.
They met one-on-one with Honor Flight staff Saturday to make their trip to Washington smooth.
The veterans coming aboard in October have different backgrounds.
Air Force veteran Charles Steinkamp has not been to our nation’s capital since 1965 when he visited on vacation.
He says being with fellow veterans in 2023 will make the trip extra special.
“I think that’s going to be the key thing — is being with all the veterans versus being on your own back in ’65,” Steinkamp said. “So, having all the veterans there and the volunteers that will be with us and your guardians — it’s going to be a special occasion I think.”
One grandfather-and-grandson duo from Huntingburg says they are looking forward to making memories lasting forever.
“I think it’s just an honor to go with him — you know — celebrate him and be the one to go with him,” said Carson Bromm — a senior at Southridge High School who will attend the Honor Flight with grandfather Del. “It could be any volunteer, but I’m the one that gets to go with him. So, it’s just an honor.”
“I want him to be there with me. He and I have a close relationship,” Del Bromm said. “His older brother and I also do. And I want to enjoy this time with him. That’s what I want to do.”
Martha and Charles Bellamy served in the Air Force and Army.
After working for participants in previous Honor Flights, they will both be going together on the upcoming flight.
“It’s exciting. Having — like I said — having participated in things like the airport when they all come back and the people playing the bagpipes and all the honors that were given and seeing the thousands of people who would come out there to greet them, it’s something you won’t forget,” Charles Bellamy said.
Raphael Schaefer is a volunteer who took the trip in 2022. He continues to volunteer for fellow overseas vets who did not have any “welcome home” ceremonies in the United States.
“To me that was the most heartwarming thing — was that welcome home we never got before,” Schaefer said. “Giving up my time — I don’t look at it like I’m giving up anything. I think I’m honoring honoring other veterans just like myself.”
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