By Michael Abeyta
For 10 years, Honor Flight of Northern Colorado has funded trips for our veterans to visit war memorials in Washington D.C. On Sunday, CBS4 was there for the start of the trip for the last remaining group of participating World War II veterans.
DENVER (CBS4) – For some northern Colorado servicemen and servicewomen, Sunday held one more early morning muster. Bill Brewster, a Vietnam War veteran said “This thing started so that the World War II veterans could see their memorials.”
This time there were no steam ships or military transports. No tearful goodbyes or lingering embraces.
“It’s a wonderful thing for them,” said Brewster.
These men and women left with the hero’s goodbye they deserved. From Loveland all the way to Denver International Airport they rode in an escorted caravan and arrived to even more fanfare.
They were part of an “honor flight.” That’s program that takes veterans to Washington for a 36 hour whirlwind tour of the nation’s capital.
“And they get together and they talk. And they tell some of their stories that they’ve never told before. And it’s a great healing process for a lot of them,” said Brewster.
The cost of war is something they’ve carried around with them for a long time. Brewster, who is also a board member for Honor Flight, said “That opens up a big gash in your soul.”
Brewster says being with each other and remembering those who didn’t make it back on this trip helps a lot.
“(It) is the best medicine that there is for that.”
After 21 flights with 3,000 veterans paid for with over $3 million raised, this is the last honor flight for the chapter out of Northern Colorado. They started out with the goal of flying all World War II vets from northern Colorado to D.C. and Sunday its mission was accomplished.
“We’ve done what we’ve started out to do,” said Brewster.
Doing all of this was a huge job and a labor of love, but in the end giving something back to those who gave so much made it all worthwhile for Brewster.
“This has been the most rewarding thing that I’ve done,” he said.