Nine Norman VA Center Veterans Head To D.C. On Honor Flight

Tuesday, June 3rd 2014, 7:53 pm
By: News 9

Roughly seven decades after their service, Oklahoma veterans are on their way to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor.

The men received a patriotic sendoff at the Norman Veterans Center Tuesday.

Nine veterans, who live at the center, were bused to Will Rogers World Airport late Tuesday to begin their trip. The hallway leading to the waiting bus was lined with people holding American flags –- applauding the veterans' service.

World War Two veteran John Bailes knows the excitement. He visited D.C. in 2013 through Oklahoma Honor Flights.

"Oh, it was wonderful," said Bailes as he took time to show off a book documenting the history of the Word War II Memorial.

Bailes' trip was threatened by a government shutdown. However, the bickering between Congress and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. had no chance on shutting out the American heroes.

"As veterans, we went in through the back door," Bailes said.

Korean War veteran Roy White had been anxiously waiting for this day over the past two years. For White, the experience will be an emotional journey paying tribute to a former National Guard soldier -- his father.

"When I was a little kid, I had a picture of my dad standing guard at the [Tomb of the Unknown Soldier]," said White as tears filled his eyes.

Down the hall of red white and blue, familiar faces of family members and nurses were smiling, saying thank you for the courage to answer the call.

"Three of my buddies and I went down and we enlisted," White said. "We were gung-ho."

Click here to learn more about Oklahoma Honor Flights.