A group of 108 veterans from World War Two and the Korean and Vietnam Wars are aboard an honor flight today visiting Washington, D.C. Steve Paulsell, the flight director for Central Missouri Honor Flight, recalls many stories throughout the years about the power these journeys have on veterans. He says for many veterans, the trip is about healing.
“One veteran took his combat boots to the wall, sat them at the wall and walked away,” says Paulsell. “Later he said, ‘I always swore if I ever got the chance to go to the Vietnam Wall, I’d take these boots up there and leave all the anger, the mad, the regret, the sadness and the pain in those boots and walk away a new man.’ He said, ‘That’s what happened that day.’”
Paulsell says many soldiers hold tokens from their military days close to their hearts.
“I think that’s why they carry the dollar bills and keep the boots and all that,” says Paulsell. “Although combat is a terrible time, there is a very special meaning to the relationships that they built there that they’ve never experienced again.”
Central Missouri Honor Flight is accepting applications for its 2020 trips. Paulsell says Missouri has hundreds, if not thousands, of Vietnam War veterans who should fill out applications to get on an honor flight.
Click here for more information about the honor flights.
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