Veterans take off on first honor flight of the year

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The eastern Iowa honor flight will honor 87 World War II, Korea, and Vietnam War Veterans with the organization’s 23rd flight to Washington D.C. Monday.

Once veterans arrive, a welcome ceremony will greet them. They will then spend the day viewing the national monuments built to honor them. Officials say it's a emotional and important day for all of those involved.

"It's the way for the community and the country as a whole to thank these ladies and gentleman for being willing to go forward laying their life on the line," Public Relations Coordinator George Rickey said. "When they went off to war or to serve they had no idea what was going to happen to them. When they came home many of them just resumed their lives. This is our way of saying thank you.”

The public is invited to welcome the veterans home when they return around 10 p.m. The airport is providing free parking for the event.