18th Central Valley Honor Flight takes off for Washington D.C.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was an early morning for this group of local war veterans as they packed the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport. The excitement was high as they prepared to board the 18th Central Valley Honor Flight, the next stop, Washington D.C.

"I definitely want to see the Vietnam one, but I am looking forward to all of them because I have never seen them before," Vietnam War Veteran John Stanton.

From World War II to Korea, veterans from across different eras and parts of the Valley received a hero's welcome. For Vietnam War Veteran Louis Haros, it was the best he has ever had.

"This is the most reception I have had," he said. "When we came back from Vietnam they got us out of the airfield and got rid of our uniforms."

The Selma native was an Army medic and this the first time he will visit the Nation's capital. He enlisted when he was just 17-years-old as a way to better his life.

"I got out the field, I did not want to work in the fields," said Haros.

He was not the only first-timer, Vietnam veteran Peter " Scotty" Burns served in the U.S. Airforce. He flew to many places during his service, but never D.C. Burns completed almost 450 missions as a B52 gunner. His post was on the tail end of the plane.

"I enjoyed it back there," he said. "You were on your own and you took care of yourself, but the crew depended on you to watch the airplane."

John Stanton also served in Vietnam and held the same position, eventually transitioning into an instructor teaching the next generation.

"It was nice to see them progress through and you are putting somebody else out in the field, I really enjoyed being an instructor," said Stanton.

Now these and other vets will visit memorials and monuments dedicated to them and their time in the service. The Honor Flight will make its way back to Fresno this Thursday at six in the evening. People in the community are encouraged to come out and give our heroes a warm welcome back home.
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