FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than 60 Valley veterans are part of the 25th Central Valley Honor Flight, a three-day trip to Washington, D.C.
The group left Fresno Yosemite International Airport Monday morning.
The trip is described as "one more tour with honor."
Every one of the veterans on the 25th flight served in the Vietnam War.
"I went to language school in Da Nang," shared Larry Couto, who served in the Marine Corps. "That language school was because I was involved in a Combined Action Program, CAP Unit, where I lived with the people in the villages of Vietnam."
Over the next three days, the vets will visit multiple monuments -- such as Iwo Jima, the Navy and Air Force memorials.
However, the Vietnam War Memorial will be the centerpiece for this group.
"The emotions are so deep," said the organization's founder, Paul Loeffler. "There's a lot of PTSD issues - guys that have been carrying this burden."
The organization hopes this trip gives the brave service members an opportunity to share their stories with one another.
For some, it can be difficult to talk about their experiences, especially those on the trip who received a Purple Heart after being injured while serving.
Michael Collins was shot in both legs and later, his chest.
"I was lucky to make it home. A lot of my friends weren't," said Collins, who served in the U.S. Army.
Those who made it home still remember how they were treated.
"They had rocks thrown at them," Loeffler said. "They were called names that I won't even repeat."
He invites the community to welcome back the group at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the airport.
Since 2013, the Honor Flight has sent more than 1,600 veterans to Washington, D.C. for free.
More than 500 are on the waiting list.
For more information, visit their website.
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