East Tennessee veterans make trip to Washington, D.C.

East Tennessee veterans make trip to Washington, D.C.

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Among the passengers headed to Washington was Bill Davis, a signalman in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and also 6 News Anchor Lori Tucker's father. Among the passengers headed to Washington was Bill Davis, a signalman in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and also 6 News Anchor Lori Tucker's father.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

ALCOA (WATE) - More than 100 veterans from East Tennessee headed to Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning.

Members of a group called Honor Air escorted the veterans of World War II and the Korean War as they departed from McGhee Tyson Airport.

"I served on two different destroyers in the Pacific," said veteran John Stinton.

It was the 14th time Honor Air has led a group, which is a way to honor the veterans' service to our country and give them an opportunity to see the memorials in Washington built in their honor.

"I'm looking forward to meeting all the veterans and seeing the memorials," said Stinton.

"I had a very good friend who was on the last submarine that was sank in World War II and I want to see his name on the wall," said World War II  and Korean War veteran Robert Kolb.

"Every flight is unique and every story is different," said Honor Air Chairman Eddie Mannis. "When you hear the stories of the veterans when they return home you have a renewed energy to keep doing it and doing it and doing it. We've flown, I think, just over 1600 Korean and World War II veterans now, so it's very rewarding. It's very rewarding for every volunteer that participates."

Among the passengers headed to Washington was Bill Davis, a signalman in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and also 6 News Anchor Lori Tucker's father.

"It's awesome," Davis said. "I can't wait. It's a wonderful trip. Thanks for letting me go."

Lori's father said the trip will be a day of reminiscing and telling war stories.

"Dad has shared stories about his experiences in the Navy," Lori said. "My mom kept a scrapbook, they were engaged at the time he was in the Navy. But there are things I'm learning that I didn't know. One of the things I didn't know was that Dad signed up before he got his draft letter. He got it while he was on his ship."

When these men and women return Wednesday evening Honor Air will have transported 1,500 vets to the nation's capital with another group set to go in the fall.

The public is invited to a welcome back ceremony to thank the veterans for their service as their plane arrives back at the airport. The plane is expected to return around 8:15 p.m.

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