LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) - More than 80 World War II veterans from Arkansas shared a special experience Saturday, traveling from Little Rock to our nation's capital all in a day.
THV 11 News caught up with these veterans for a festive homecoming at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock. As they all made their way down the escalators, they were showered with music, cheers and more. They're back from what's known as the "Honor Flight," giving these Arkansas veterans a chance to see the D.C. memorials in their honor.
"Oh it's fantastic, I couldn't believe it, I was really impressed with it," said Veteran C.R. Sawrie of Little Rock.
Sawrie was among the "jet-setters" Saturday on the Honor Flight program. It's run by a national non-profit that flies these veterans for free to D.C. for a chance to see the World War II Memorial and more.
"It was significant in development, it was well-done, it was beautiful and just super," Sawrie said of the World War II Memorial.
"This day has just been overwhelming," said Veteran Evelyn Usrey of Little Rock.
Usrey was the only female Arkansas veteran on this trip. She enjoyed seeing every state represented at the memorial and a chance to be there not only for her.
"I saw it for myself, for my husband, for my sister, my two brothers that all served in World War II but I'm the only one left," Usrey said.
It was s special day for all these veterans, who still carry with them that humble nature of a U.S Serviceman or woman.
"It just brings tears to your eyes, you don't feel like you deserve this kind of treatment, you know you do what you had to do," said Veteran Wilber Bennett of Sherwood.
But Bennett and the others still loved every moment of this.
"Heavenly, I just can't explain it," Bennett said.
"Everybody was super, super nice to us," Sawrie said.
"I cannot express how much this has meant to all of us," Usrey said.
These Arkansas veterans also saw some other military landmarks on this trip and received a firefighter's salute as they drove away from the airport Saturday night.
This Honor Flight program has been going on for seven years and works with veterans all over the country. Tyson Foods and the Electrical Cooperatives of Arkansas also helped put on the event for the Arkansas crew.