It was an early wake-up call Monday for 133 Nebraska veterans as they boarded a flight to Washington D.C. Monday at 4 a.m. for the first ever Patriotic Production’s all Women’s Honor Flight.
There was a very special guest on the flight to the nation’s capital. Actress Loretta Swit from TV’s MASH fame was the guest speaker at the pre-flight dinner Sunday evening in La Vista. Swit boarded the plane with the veterans and flew to Washington D.C. and then spent much of the day with the group touring the sites.
The veterans arrived in Washington D.C. around 8:30 ET and received a hero’s welcome. They then boarded buses that took them to the 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery where they saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown.
Senator Deb Fischer greeted the veterans at the Women in Military Service for America Monument where they made a lunch stop and posed for a group picture. That is where i met up with Lincoln Veteran Kori Osienger who was accompanied by her service dog, Battle.
Osienger said, “Even though it is raining out we are having a blast. We are seeing all kinds of cool stuff and Battle has been a champ the whole day.” Veteran Sandra Miller of Lincoln also brought her service dog, Emma.
98 year old Edith Peterson of Council Bluffs, Iowa made the trip. She served in WWII as an Army nurse where she was stationed in New Guinea, the Philippines and Australia.
The veterans then traveled to the WWII Memorial and then to the Vietnam Wall, the Korea Memorial and the Lincoln Monument. The group then made the trip to Reagan National Airport for their flight back home.
The group arrived at Eppley Airfield around 8:50 p.m. to a large crowd waving flags, passing out flowers and carrying “Welcome Home” signs and a local band. From there the veterans boarded buses to their final destination – home for a good night’s sleep. Mission accomplished.