Honor Flight Dayton honoring our area's heroes
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Nearly 100 of our area's military veterans recently took part on the trip of a lifetime to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials dedicated in their honor.
Vietnam veteran and WDAO radio host Michael Ecton was one of them. We talked with him just a few days before he left.
"I'm looking forward to it," Ecton said. "I hope to develop some friendships from this. I know it's just one day."
Just one day, but Al Bailey of Honor Flight Dayton says most veterans who go say it's one of the best days of their life.
"It's our way of thanking these veterans for what they've done for our country," Bailey said. "So many of them said they've been going through therapy for years and going on this trip, this one day trip we give them, is the best therapy they've ever had."
Honor Flight Dayton takes World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans to see the memorials dedicated to them in Washington, D.C. And they do it, at no charge to the veterans. Bailey says each trip costs around $50,000, so he and his team are constantly trying to get help from the community to fund these trips. For more information about donating, click here.
When the veterans get to D.C. and when they return home, they'll be greeted by huge crowds of people welcoming them. The welcome home at Dayton International Airport can attract hundreds of supporters. These are some of the more emotional moments, especially for the Vietnam veterans like Ecton because they didn't receive it when they came home from war.
"It's a little delayed but this makes up for any shortcoming," Ecton told us when he arrived back in Dayton after his trip. "This is just phenomenal for people to come out and say hello and say thank you to these veterans."
For more information about Honor Flight Dayton and how to sign up a veteran to go, you can click here.