- They served in World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam, but many veterans have never seen the memorials dedicated to their sacrifice.
That changed this week for over 100 veterans from our area, who took a one-day trip to Washington, D.C. with the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.
Because the World War II memorial wasn't built until 2004, many veterans from that war didn't get to see it.
That's why Never Forgotten Honor Flight made it their mission to make sure those still alive are thanked and honored.
On Monday's flight out of Central Wisconsin, there were 14 World War II , 83 Korean War, and 2 Vietnam vets.
The board of directors is entirely volunteer-driven.
Board president Pat Puyleart said the work is self-rewarding.
"Spending a day with these veterans and seeing what it means to them to finally be acknowledged for their sacrifices," he said. "They're an amazing group of men and women, and it's a pleasure and an honor for us to be a part of this."
Veterans were greeted by crowds when they arrived in D.C. and got back home to Wausau.
At the memorials, strangers walked up to hug them, shake their hands, and thank them.
"I couldn't get over it. The further you went through the concourse of the airport, the first part of it, there must've been 200 people and people were saying thank you for your service, God bless you, I got a few hugs," said Korean War vet Darwin Sering. "I don't know if I deserve that kind of thanks, but it was really heartwarming to hear it."
"It gave me goosebumps, really, everybody shaking your hand and congratulating you and thanking us for what we did for our country, and we really appreciate that," said his brother and fellow Korea vet Wayne Sering.