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‘This is the highlight of my military career:’ Dozens of veterans take part in Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area

“I can’t believe almost 88 years of age, this is the highlight of my military career you might say,” said Vietnam Veteran Lewis Bruce.
Published: Apr. 30, 2022 at 3:58 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Dozens of veterans lined up Saturday morning at ILM, waiting to board the inaugural Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area.

From Wilmington to the capital city, veterans and their guardians took flight on the trip of a lifetime.

“I can’t believe almost 88 years of age, this is the highlight of my military career you might say,” said Vietnam Veteran Lewis Bruce. “I really appreciate all these people have put in to make it a day for us.”

The Honor Flight of the Cape Fear Area took around 70 veterans from the World War 2, Vietnam War, and Korean War era, along with their guardians.

They plan to visit the Vietnam War memorial, along with other pieces of history that many of them have never had the chance to see before.

“I have a friend who was in the Vietnam War and never came back,” Bruce said. “I’m anxious to see his name on that granite.”

Veterans that boarded the flight to D.C. on Saturday were lucky to make it back, but there were many who weren’t so lucky.

“I have friends who lost their life in Vietnam,” Veteran Aaron Largent said. “I’m looking forward to going to the wall and seeing all the memorials because it brings back a lot of good memories.”

The airport was filled with law enforcement officers, people playing bagpipes, and flags galore to give the men and women a grand entrance.

“I’m more excited than he is because I don’t even think he realizes it,” said Guardian Jane Hamel, who took the trip with her 96-year-old father.

The trip is all expenses paid, an attempt to give these men and women who gave their country so much a day to honor their service and sacrifice.

“When I came back from Vietnam, we really didn’t have any sort of parade or anything, no sort of recognition for the Vietnam veterans,” Largent said. “So this is very special to me.”

The plane home is arriving around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, and they invite the community to come out and welcome them home.

For more information on the organization, click here.

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