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Last Milwaukee Honor Flight with solely WWII vets comes Saturday

CREATED Apr 26, 2013

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  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

  • Photo: Jodi Becker

MILWAUKEE - World War II veterans from Southeastern Wisconsin will be taking an historic flight to see their monument in Washington, D.C. Saturday, but the history isn't just in the flight itself.

It's the last Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to solely take World War II veterans.

"This is our 17th flight, which blows us away to think the community has supported us to this degree," said Stars and Stripes Honor Flight's Renee Riddle on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

"We will have flown 2,560 WWII heroes."

After this flight, Korean War veterans will join the Honor Flight program in the Milwaukee area.

Riddle gave deep insights about the final moments of the Honor Flight experience for these veterans, the homecoming Saturday night at Mitchell International Airport.

"It's not about the trip to D.C., but about coming home and seeing the Milwaukee community embrace them.  It's mind-blowing," said Riddle about the homecoming which she likened to what veterans, in her mind, should have received after coming home from World War II.

She also discussed how this is the first homecoming since the Honor Flight movie was released.

"When it gets to that homecoming scene...you see how many thousands of people jam our airport, you hear an audible gasp," said Riddle.

"We love it when the public comes to Mitchell Airport.  Our crews get there as early as 4:00 p.m.  The parking lot starts filling up at around 6:00 p.m.  The parade's estimated time is about 8:30."