WASHINGTON (KDVR) – A group of Colorado veterans just returned from a mission to the nation’s capital. They traveled to the monuments erected in their honor along the National Mall, as part of a program with High Plains Honor Flight.
FOX31 was invited along, and has documented their journey in a Serving Those Who Serve special, “Final Mission: Honoring Colorado’s Veterans.”
“These folks fought for our freedom. They signed the dotted line,” said Matt Voris, High Plains Honor Flight president.
He said connecting veterans in a place like the District of Columbia had a healing effect.
“See a lot of folks that have never talked about their experiences, even to family members, start talking to the fellow veterans on this trip. And it’s like the weight of the world’s lifted off their shoulders,” Voris added.
During the Honor Flight earlier this month, veterans from Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming visited the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, US Marine Corp War Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.
“There’s probably a dozen guys in here that I know,” said Ned Gurule of Grand Junction, as he pointed to the names etched in black granite on the Vietnam wall.
“Overwhelming. Been wanted to come here for years, and it took me this long to get here. So I’m glad I did,” he added.
More than 120 veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War took part in the honor flight, along with dozens of volunteers.
High Plains Honor Flight sends the veterans to Washington DC free of charge. They’re funded entirely by donations and are looking for donors to help with future flights.
“Final Mission: Honoring Colorado’s Veterans” aired Sunday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 2 and 8:30 p.m. on FOX31, and again Monday, May 30 at noon on FOX31.