A Welcome home for Veterans ‘never too late’
BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Late Sunday evening, family, friends, and even strangers gathered outside the American Legion Post 1645 for the arrival of veterans on returning from Washington D.C.
The trip is part of the Twin Tiers Honor Flight, which allows veterans to travel to the nation’s capital to visit with memorials, as well as pay respects at Arlington National Cemetery. One vet even said: “It’s just the greatest thing for veterans that we’ve had since we’ve come home.”
Joe Yezzi is the Grounds Crew and local organizer for the trip, he says a lot of time and effort goes into planning a trip such as this. For the veterans, however, he says, it’s completely worth every minute.
“It’s a lot of behind the scenes work that’s done a lot of paperwork that’s done but in the long run it’s worth the ten-fold over to get the veterans here.”
Jenni Royer-Barnett’s father Kieth Royer served in Vietnam, she says this is the welcome home he deserves.
“It’s just very meaningful I mean we have a whole family here everyone’s here so that’s just really nice really proud of him so we’re just really proud of him and we’re very proud of his service in our family,” she said.
Harry Williams is a World War II Veteran, the only one on the trip of 52 people. At age 96 he says this experience was like no other.
“It was wonderful it was something that you would never think would be possible to do but I’m just an ordinary citizen you know.”
Williams was one of two vets to place a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. He says him, and another vet were pushed up to the monument in their wheelchairs, but he says one way or another, he was determined to get it done, he says for his brothers in war.
“I said if I had to crawl up there I would do it,” Williams said.
He says he can’t describe what it was like to see the crowd welcoming him home.
“I just about lost it I didn’t want to do that in front of all of these people in my family but I held on speaking of all those it’s the greatest thing in the world every veteran should do this,” he said.