Valley veterans honored

ATWATER, Calif. (KFSN) -- A much anticipated trip finally came Monday for more than 60 local World War II and Korean veterans.

The Central Valley Honor Flight took off for the eighth time today, this time in the North Valley. Bagpipes led the way, as veterans across the Valley were honored for their service as they embarked.

"I didn't sleep too much I was so excited. I've never been back there and I didn't realize it. It's great," said veteran Foy Foster. Foster, of Fresno County, now 94, was a bombardier during the war. He even served alongside Hollywood legend Jimmy Stewart. "We all liked him and respected him because he worked hard."

Stories of service filled the room as they prepared to depart. Joe Cox, a Los Banos resident served in the Navy. "I've been on two of those wars and one of them was on a submarine and one was on a destroyer."

The 65 veterans included two women and 63 men, who shared a common bond of joining forces for a unified cause. And while time has passed, they say they'll never forget the wartime images. "I saw a lot of survivors, fortunately I saw the ones that survived and they were skin and bones, said Robert "Jim" Barton, veteran.

The heroes were given a special send-off from the community and they even got an unexpected surprise. A P-51 Mustang, used during the war, flew overhead. "I knew what it was before I ever saw it. It has a distinct sound. It's just incredible," stated James Morris, veteran.

Morris served in the Army Air Corps and flew a B-17. He couldn't wait to get on the flight with his daughter, his guardian. The veterans excitement was visible as they headed to Washington D.C. to see their memorial. A trip they paid for with their sacrifice.

"It's the best country in the whole world," said Foster
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.