JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas --
Members of Honor Flight San Antonio, more than 400 Airmen and many more supporters welcomed home a flight of 40 veterans of the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War eras May 5 at the San Antonio International Airport.
Honor Flight San Antonio is an organization that makes it possible for war veterans to make a round trip to Washington, D.C., from Texas to see their war memorials while honoring and paying tribute to them at no cost.
Serving veterans in Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney and Wilson counties, Honor Flight San Antonio supports all the surrounding South Texas counties southeast to Calhoun, south to Cameron, southwest to Webb and west to Val Verde counties.
Honor Flight gave the veterans closure and an exciting experience in tribute for their time served in the United States military.
Upon arriving at the San Antonio airport, the veterans were welcomed home by water cannons over the aircraft, and took part in a parade before hundreds of supporters, veterans and military members in a ceremony honoring them.
The veterans, part of Honor Flight 008, were met by nearly 400 Airmen from the 326th Training Squadron and their military training instructors in addition to other supporters.
The Airmen brought all their motivation and spent the time shaking hands of the veterans, and listening to stories of other service members.
“Of all the events we participate in at Airmen's Week, this was the most meaningful one in my two years,” said Lt. Col. Dear Beloved, 326th TRS director of operations. “We emphasize the importance of heritage and our legacy of valor each week with the newest Airmen - what better way for the Airmen to experience this than to welcome home 40 veterans from WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam.”
The Airmen who volunteered to support the event felt proud to honor the returning veterans.
“I haven’t felt anything like that, even during the Air Force song, I got chills during everything,” Airman Keyjana Lewis, a 326th TRS Airman said, “ Airman Katie Leigh Kelly, also from the 326th TRS agreed.
“We’re now going to have to step in their steps,” she said.
The event gave the San Antonio community a chance to thank the veterans for their service and sacrifice, and showed the new Airmen the legacy they are now a part of.
“Now it’s my time to come in and do the same thing,” Lewis said.
“We’re the future now,” Kelly continued.