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Local veterans spend day in D.C. thanks to Honor Flight Tallahassee

Local veterans spend day in D.C. thanks to Honor Flight Tallahassee
Posted at 6:30 PM, May 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-20 15:10:51-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - 82 deserving military veterans get to spend the day in our nation's capital, thanks to Honor Flight Tallahassee.

The non-profit organization celebrates veterans for the sacrifices they've made for our country.

"It's wonderful to be able to serve in the greatest nation in the world," said Korean Veteran Joe Butler.

Decades after these men served, Honor Flight Tallahassee is honoring their bravery with this 17-hour whirlwind trip to see memorials for the wars they've fought in.

Joe, Virgil, and Bob Butler come from a long line of loyal veterans.

"Our daddy served in the First World War, three brothers in the Second World War, and we followed suit," said Korean Veteran Virgil Butler.

The Butlers spent the day remembering their loved ones who never made it home.

For many, it's the first time they've visited the memorials, erected in their honor.

Other veterans, like Noel Hurst, are hoping for a spot next year.

"I'm sure I'll know some of the guys who are on the flight and I hope to be on the next flight. I have not been," said Hurst.

Honor Flight Tallahassee's goal is to serve folks like Hurst, who have served us, by getting them on-board next year.

The veterans paid their respects at five memorials, ending the tour at the Arlington Cemetery.

Organizers say, Saturday night's crowd was about 400 people, including the American Legion, American Veterans, and Patriot Guard Riders.

Honor Flight Tallahassee Volunteer, Patsy Evans, welcomes home these Honor Flights to support the other families even though she recently lost her husband.

"The last conversation I had with my father, he talked about the Honor Flight," said Evans.

It's an unforgettable trip. The veterans couldn't hide their emotion as they stepped off the plane.

At the end of the day, Virgil Butler is still all smiles. He says, the love and appreciation from the community means the world.

"It's hard to describe to tell you the truth. It's something that will stay with you for the rest of your life," said Virgil.

That's what Honor Flight Tallahassee aims for, leaving these local heroes feeling truly honored for the sacrifices they made for us all.

If you want to donate or volunteer for next year's Honor Flight checkout their website.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - 82 local veterans are spending the day in Washington D.C, visiting war memorials and the Arlington National Cemetery, thanks to Honor Flight Tallahassee.

The non-profit organization honors veterans for the sacrifices they've made for our country by bringing them on a whirlwind trip to see the memorials.

Veterans who served in War World II and the Korean War were flown to visit, completely free.

For many, it's the first time they've visited the memorials, erected in their honor.

"It's just great being here Saturday and having everybody honor us. Our daddy was in First World War, three brothers in Second World War, and we followed," said Korean Veteran Bob Virgil.

"Been looking forward to it for a long time and being with my brothers, it's just been wonderful," said Korean Veteran Joe Butler.

The community was invited to come out and greet the Honor Flight Veterans Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. as they returned to the Tallahassee International Airport.