INDIANAPOLIS - Seventy veterans from World War II were honored Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, after they returned home from a no cost visit to the National World War II Memorial in Washington. The event was organized by Indy Honor Flight.
Surrounded by her family, Grace Wisehart, of Knightstown, waited for her husband of 45 years, Robert, to return from his visit to Washington. "It's going to be a very emotional thing," said Wisehart. "He is so special and all of them are special for serving and keeping us safe."
Her 90-year old husband was full of emotion when he called to tell her about how 500 to 600 people came to greet them at Reagan International Airport, said Wisehart.
"I can't describe it, there's no way, everybody had been so nice. From the beginning to the end, everybody was so kind." said Robert Wisehart.
It is estimated more than 3,000 people gathered to welcome home the veterans from the trip.
Many people waiting to welcome the service members home were not waiting for a particular person to arrive but had a personal connection, like Maria Larrison, of Avon, whose father was a veteran of World War II.
Although her father had passed almost 20 years ago, he would have been "blown away," by this event said Larrison. She has volunteered for Indy flight as ground crew and escort to honor her dad, said Larrison.
"It's absolutely mind-blowing, I do not have the words to describe it." said Michael Jordan, of Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 150th Field Artillery Regiment of the Indiana Army National Guard. "I've seen guys walk right in front of me, that could have walked shoulder to shoulder with my grandfather in Normandy."
Volunteers using their own funds escort the veterans on the Indy Honor Flight, which is paid for by donations.
Sixty-eight men and two women were on the flight. The average age was 89.