A look at Twin Tiers Honor Flight Mission 13

Veterans were filled with emotions Sunday night after 48 hours in our nation’s capital
This is a recurring recording of WBNG's 6pm newscast.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 5:06 PM EDT
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(WBNG) -- “I’m about ready to go into tears,” said U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Kevin Grewe.

Veterans were filled with emotions Sunday night after 48 hours in the nation’s capital.

On Saturday morning’s departure for Washington, D.C., 49 veterans and their guardians were escorted from Binghamton to the New York and Pennsylvania border where they were greeted with well-wishes from a 102-year-old veteran who attended the Twin Tiers Honor Flight a few years ago.

Mission 13′s first stop in Washington took the veterans to the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, and Korean War Memorial; where many observed in silence, reflecting on their fallen brothers and sisters.

From there, a stop at Arlington National Cemetery to witness The Changing of the Guard, where two of Mission 13′s own veterans were part of the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Iwo Jima marked stop three of day one. The group’s Marine Corps veterans gathered for a picture upon arrival before heading to the hotel for the night.

At dinner, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel A. Philip Waite presented Vietnam Commendation Lapel Pins to each and every Vietnam Veteran; welcoming them home and thanking them for their service – something many of them say they never received.

“Some of you have seen it, some of you were wearing it, but many of you never received this,” Waite said.

On Sunday morning after breakfast and chapel service, Mission 13 visited the WWII Memorial, met The Lone Sailor at the United States Navy Memorial and the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, and ended their time in the capital at the U.S. Air Force Memorial.

Air Force Vietnam Veteran Mr. James Rossi, who was supposed to be Mission 13′s 50th veteran, was posthumously honored with a flag of our heroes ceremony led by Chaplain Norm Stitzel.

On the bus ride home, a tradition from back in their time in the service; Mail call.

Family members, friends, and people from across the Twin Tiers wrote letters of endearment; thanking them for their service.

Before returning to Binghamton Sunday night, a police and motorcycle escort led the buses of veterans back to SUNY Broome where they were met with a proper welcome home.

There, veterans were greeted by family, friends and the community in a way many of them never received when returning from overseas.