Local veterans go on a once in a lifetime trip to Washington D.C.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)-In the early hours of the morning, it’s a hero’s sendoff for local veterans with an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. as part of Toyota’s Honor Flight.

Vietnam veteran Carl Morris says, “It’s something that I really can’t put into words. It’s such an honor for us to be able to do that to be with other veterans.”

And for Morris the honor is overwhelming. Like many soldiers who returned from war they didn’t get the welcome home they deserved.

he says, “14 1/2 months in Vietnam, did my job. I can’t even be proud of it when I come home. You don’t say anything to anybody, you don’t talk to anybody about it or nothing. And now I get to do this 46 years later. I mean it’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time.”

The veterans, many of them past Toyota employees themselves, are joined by Toyota volunteers who will be taking the journey with them.

And the vets are all very humble about all the attention.

Vietnam veteran Ralph Thompson says, “It’s hard to describe the wonderful feeling…Just to imagine and look around and see all the people that are here. People who have volunteered of their time and resources so that the veterans could go.”

They’ll be touring the national mall, stopping at some of the landmarks, and most of all taking time to pay their respects at the various military memorials.

Morris says, “What’s going to be the hardest is Arlington. All them soldier…all them graves and then to be coming back…you know, out of respect and everything…this is a great honor and I appreciate it more than anybody knows.”

ABC 36’s Doug High was also honored at the airport this morning. You may not know this but he also works as a public affairs officer with the U.S. Navy Reserve. In front of all the veterans, he was promoted at a special ceremony before their flight by Governor Bevin to the rank of Commander.

Doug High says, “The honor is mine to be able to share my promotion with them and to make the point that the only reason I’m here is because of them. I’ve been inspired by them my whole life. That’s the reason I’m serving. And my hope today was that our ceremony will inspire the young ones coming up behind me.”

And you can meet some of the veteran’s returning back from their trip to DC tonight yourself. There will be a big welcome home celebration at Blue Grass Airport at 9pm.

Categories: Local News, News

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