First of all, I would like to thank the Honor Flight Board and all of their supporters that make this wonderful event possible.
I would suppose that the large, cheering crowd that welcomed us home Wednesday evening saw an aging, tired group of veterans at the end of a hectic 20-hour adventure as we embarked from the bus. But let me tell you how this veteran saw it.
There were a lot of young men on that bus with me. Some that gave their lives for our country and were received at some lonely train station by family and a few friends, some that lost limbs, some whose bodies were maimed by shrapnel, some that suffered great mental strain from the ravages of war. These young men were with me that evening, their chests expanded with pride and their eyes welled up with tears of gratitude, just as mine did.
The wonderful people of Sedalia and surrounding communities welcomed us like heroes and those young me I served with were there with me to finally get a real "welcome home.” I could thank each of you every day the rest of my life and never repay you for what you gave me and my fellow veterans on that very special day. God bless you all and I will join you when the next Honor Flight is welcomed home. What you did for us was very special and you are very special people for doing it.