COLORADO SPRINGS — It was an exciting and emotional weekend for families and veterans as the 14th annual Honor Flight of Southern Colorado returned home Saturday.

“It’s just so important to recognize our veterans that served long ago,” said Cindy Long, Honor Flight of Southern Colorado board president.

Veterans received hugs from family and loved ones as they disembarked the coach. Credit: Rachel Saurer

The Honor Flight takes veterans for a three-day trip to our nation’s captiol.

“They see those memorials built to their specific time in the military, their era,” Long said. “But then, they also see the marine corps memorial, and the navy memorial, and the air force memorial… so those are the memorials to their individual services.”

Veterans say it’s a trip they won’t soon forget.

“This Honor Flight was of quite significance to me because when I came back from Vietnam in…1969, we wasn’t recognized,” said Vietnam veteran CW3 John Edmonds. “And we did not receive the ceremony like we have today.”

Veterans said it was reception they won’t soon forget. Credit: Rachel Saurer

The ceremony brought many veterans to tears.

“When one person cried, we all cried. We’re supposed to be grown men, we’re veterans, but we’re human beings,” Edmonds said.

Edmonds said a highlight of the trip was reading letters from their family on the airplane, which was moving to everyone aboard.

“We said this was the worst pollution of air we’ve ever seen on an airplane because we’re all crying. So, it was beautifully done,” Edmonds said.

The Honor Flight and ceremony are all done in an effort to honor the service of the brave men and women who fought for our country. Credit: Rachel Saurer

The trip ended with a gathering of family, veterans and active military to continue recognizing the efforts of these men and women who fought for our country.

“They’re the reason we all live in a free country and have the freedoms that we have and we should all be thankful every single day for the service to their country,” Long said.

The next Honor Flight of Southern Colorado is tentatively scheduled for mid-October of this year. You can find out how to volunteer or register by clicking here.