It was an emotional, memorable day for a former homeless veteran.

Willie Dread took an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with high school senior Emily Corenlius.

The two met when Dread was homeless in Lakeland and she was doing a school project on homeless veterans.

The two became instant friends.

Corenlius recently heard about an Honor Flight specifically for Vietnam veterans, and of course she had a special passenger in mind. With the help of the community, she raised enough money to make Willie’s trip happen and will ride on the plane as his guardian.

Dread had always dreamed of making the trip.

“I’m just thankful for Emily and the people she knows,” Dread said. “That they helpe dme to make this trip. I’m just thankful for everything.”

The pair visited the Vietnam memorial on their trip.

“Because he fought in the Vietnam War,” said Corenlius. “And it was very emotional for both of us when we went there.”

Dread hopes to one day make another trip to the capitol.