Veterans leave San Diego on first ‘Honor Flight’ since pandemic onset


SAN DIEGO — Almost 100 veterans with Honor Flight San Diego boarded a plane Friday morning en route to Washington, D.C.

The flight is part of the organization’s first trip in two years after the pandemic forced delays and cancelations. The wait made it even more special for some of the 94 World War II and Korea-era veterans going on the trip. Ranging in age from 85-104, the group included six women and seven veterans older than 100.

FOX 5’s Jacqueline Sarkissian was at the airport as they got ready for their early morning flight. Among them, Silver and Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipients and one veteran who was on the ship with Marines who put the flag on Iwo Jima. Other veterans were part of the historic Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.

The veterans will watch the changing of the guard ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and visit the World War II, Lincoln, Korea, Vietnam, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and Women in Service for America Memorials. They will also visit the Navy Yard and National Electronics Museums.

The group returns to San Diego International Airport on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 2:45 p.m., when active duty military in uniform will line the steps to be the first to welcome the heroes home. Up to 800 members of the community and public are expected to be there for the homecoming.

Anyone who wants to attend should arrive at Terminal 2 baggage claim by 2 p.m. Masks are required inside the terminal and parking will be free, organizers said.

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