ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A group of veterans are back in the Tampa Bay area, after a day trip to our nation’s capital.
The last “Honor Flight” of the year returned home to Pinellas County, carrying 70 veterans and their escorts.
They always throw a huge “welcome home” party at the airport.
Hundreds showed up to line the hallways and shake the hands as they entered the terminal.
Plenty of red, white and blue welcomed the retired members of our armed forces.
Leading the parade of heroes: Frank Demmi, who served as an Army medic in the ’40s will be celebrating his 101st birthday on Wednesday.
“I’m very proud about that. I’m very grateful I’m here at this age to be able to be with em. Cuz the way I understand it, the oldest one is 98 over there” said Demmi.
In Washington D.C. the veterans visited monuments and memorials. For some, it got emotional.
“To see the vets that were at the Korean, Vietnam memorial, that was very very touching,” said Donald Andriuzz.
The “bucket list” trip likely will be the start of new friendships.
“This was one of the best days of my life. I mean, it’s unbelievable. I didn’t feel worthy to be with all the veterans that were there because they sacrificed so much,” Ernest Rose said.
The next “Honor Flight” takes off in April of next year.
Since the flights started, almost 3,000 veterans have taken the trip to D.C., all at no cost to them.