Honor Flight Returns To The Valley - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Honor Flight Returns To The Valley

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Arlington National Cemetery was the final stop for the Central Valley Honor Flight.  World War II veterans in wheelchairs had the best seats in the house for the changing of the guard. "I've never seen it and it's beautiful.  I didn't know it's so hard to explain," said Rudy Giannoni of Fresno.

The changing of the guard is a ceremony where all eyes are glued on the honor guard team as it goes through its routine.  Some have seen it before but say it never gets old. "It's still very impressive.  The men are trained to do it.  Everyone should have the opportunity to come and see it," said Navy veteran Leonard Schlosser.

Due to time constraints the World War II veterans had little time to see the more than 400,000 graves on the 624 acre property.  It features rolling hills with lots of trees that is a fall spectacle with the leaves changing colors.  It has been a whirlwind trip for the 69 local veterans and their chaperones.  The highlight was the World War II memorial and a chance for these former freedom fighters to see a salute to their service and sacrifice. "This is the biggest thank you we've received.  We don't need anything after this.  This is it.  This is our final thank you," said Army veteran Earl Watson.

The Honor Flight was treated like rock stars at every stop.  After three days of seeing memorials and to be honored at a lunch and dinner, veterans say they were ready to go home.

Members of the Honor Flight will receive one final salute on Saturday during halftime of the Fresno State football game.

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