Welcome home ceremony held for Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois

Veterans return to the Heartland after honor flight
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 4:38 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 9:40 AM CDT
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MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - A large crowd came out to Veterans Airport in Marion Tuesday night, Oct. 4 to welcome home veterans who spent their day Washington, D.C.

Hundreds participated in a welcome home ceremony at the front airport entrance for Flight #9.

According to a release from the ceremony planning committee, the festivities began at 8 p.m. and included emcee George Davis and Matt Throgmorton from Byassee Music and Sound singing the National Anthem.

Several food trucks were also on hand until all the veterans passed through the Freedom Path through the Airport terminal.

Participants were encouraged to bring welcome home banners and flags to the ceremony and wear patriotic attire.

One veteran who took part in a previous honor flight said he is thankful that veterans are getting the recognition they deserve.

“When I came home from Vietnam, we didn’t have the recognition like they do now,” said one Vietnam veteran. “All this recognition they’re doing now I’m happy for those guys I’m happy for them because they didn’t have it when I came home in 1966.”

Another honor flight veteran said his experience was emotional.

“What we seen there--with all the memorials and everything, and everybody coming around, it was very emotional,” said Vietnam veteran Leon Timmermann. “The fact is that we were recognized and when we got home, the crowd we seen it here too, it’s remarkable!”

Organizers say Tuesday’s Honor Flight of Southern Illinois was their largest, with 90 veterans.

The Honor Flight is provided absolutely free of charge to the veterans.