Decades ago, veterans from the Vietnam War, Korean War, and World War II risked their lives for their country.
Sunday, they received some recognition for their efforts.
Organizers of the Story County Freedom Flight say it’s been a long time coming.
“We can’t change what happened 70, 60, 40 years ago, but we can change what happens now and give them the welcome home they should have gotten many years ago,” said Doug Bishop, the coordinator for the Story County Freedom Flight.
On Tuesday, 140 veterans from Story County will board a flight to Washington D.C. where they’ll view monuments honoring our armed forces.
It’s an area that’s familiar to Steve Collis. He’s a Vietnam Army veteran who has traveled to the capitol before.
“It’s going to be a wide variety of emotions. It’s a moving thing. It’s a moving experience,” said Collis.
The trip came to life thanks to volunteers and donations from local businesses.
Over four months, they raised $95,000 dollars to give soldiers a chance to reflect on their military service.
Those same volunteers organized a send-off ceremony.
It included music, plenty of photo opportunities, and of course, a welcome home to the red, white, and blue.
“This place was full as you saw. It meant a great deal because Vietnam veterans didn’t get a homecoming,” Collis told Channel 13 News.
Tuesday’s trip may not re-pay our veterans for fighting for our freedom, but for many, a thank you is all they ask in return.