80+ Wisconsin-area veterans honored during 46th Badger Honor Flight
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - More than 80 veterans from around the state were honored Saturday and chartered to Washington D.C. for the 46th Badger Honor Flight.
World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans left from the Dane County Regional Airport Saturday morning for a VIP daytrip, according to Badger Honor Flight. The organizer added this is one of six flights planned for 2023.
The veterans, their guardians and loved ones gathered for a send-off ceremony early Saturday morning.
Vietnam War veteran Albert Porter said his whole family has served in the U.S. Army and it was an honor to carry on the tradition. Porter said he is on the look out for one particular memorial.
“I’m looking for the Vietnam wall,” Porter said. “I want to see the wall. I have friends that went over there in Vietnam and did not come back. So, hopefully try and remember their names and find them on the wall.”
Crowds of people flocked to the airport Saturday for the veterans’ returns. One member of the audience, Phil Ingwell was on the flight in 2015.
Ingwell served in the Marine Corps from 1954 to 1956 and now welcomes home other veterans on the flight to Washington D.C. He said arriving at the airport in Washington D.C. was an amazing experience.
“It’s very emotional, flying into Washington D.C., and people are there you know flying everywhere in the world and they all stood up and hollered and shouted just the emotion of being greeted in Washington,” Ingwell said.
The part he remembers most fondly was receiving pouches of mail on the flight back from community members thanking him for his service,
“Mail-call in the service is always the big highlight of the day, Mail-call!, so getting that pouch of mail really is emotional,” Ingwell added.
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