WASHINGTON, D.C. (WATE) — More than 100 veterans are back in East Tennessee, after a trip to Washington D.C. on Wednesday with HonorAir Knoxville.

It was the first flight in two-and-a-half years, giving veterans the well-deserved opportunity to see the monuments made in their honor at our nation’s capital. The last time veterans were flown by the organization to see the memorials was in October 2019.

The trip included a visit to the Air Force Memorial, Vietnam and Korean Memorials, World War II Memorial, and watching the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The day ended with a big welcome home at McGhee Tyson Airport. Community members lined the airport terminal with signs and American flags to welcome veterans back.

In total, 131 veterans traveled to D.C. One of them is a WWII veteran, 10 served in the Korean War and 120 in Vietnam. Since October 2007, HonorAir Knoxville has taken now 30 flights and more than 3,700 East Tennessee veterans to D.C.

HonorAir Knoxville founder and president Eddie Mannis says the trip was a success.

“These veterans made a great sacrifice for their country,” Mannis said. “We are proud to honor this group of special people.”