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Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

U.S. veteran returns home from the CV Honor Flight with a warm welcoming at Fresno International Airport, April 11.

World War II and Korean veterans return home from the annual Central Valley Honor Flight at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, April 11. Thousands of people welcome their heroes as they line up to see them board off the plane.

Since 2013, CV Honor Flight take veterans to Washington D.C. for a three-day experience to memorials built in their honor. This year 63 veterans fly to D.C., with two being servicewomen.

Bagpipes play, leading veterans down the row of U.S. Navy men and women saluting on their way through the crowd.

Tears, hugs and laughter are seen all around as family and friends see their loved ones honored for their tribute to their country.

Local Hometown Heroes radio host and play-by-play announcer for Fresno State sports, Paul Loeffler, shares his experience with CV Honor Flight and veterans.

“I was one of an initial group of about five people who got it started in 2013. Now we have dozens of volunteers, and the team grows with every flight,” Loeffler said. “My favorite part is seeing the veterans’ faces when they get back to the valley and are overcome with emotion as they experience the welcome home they never received all those decades ago. I’ve gotten to know many of the veterans, and I’m always amazed by how much they love our country and the things they were willing to endure for our sake.”

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Current navy man visits with WWII veteran at the homecoming Honor Flight ceremony, April 11.

Local Veteran’s next trip takes place May 7-9 during the 73rd anniversary of V-E Day (Victory in Europe) and will include 20 WWII vets who will receive the opportunity of participating in the official government ceremony, commemorating this day at the WWII Memorial.

Through donations and volunteers, this experience is made possible to honor the veteran’s sacrifice. They visit numerous memorials and monuments on the trip such as National WWII Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Navy Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Marine Corps Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and  Women in Military Service for America Memorial.

Thank you veterans for your sacrifice and service to our country!

For more information visit, BREAKING: Campus history students to receive extra credit for attended Honor Flight homecoming and last years article COLUMN: CV Honor Flight changes perspectives (VIDEO, SLIDESHOW).

Slideshow images below show Central Valley Honor Flight Homecoming at Fresno’s airport, April 11.

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