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'Homecoming we deserved' | Honor Flight San Diego's emotional welcome home

The 85 Navy HA(L)-3 Seawolves are in Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built for their service and sacrifice.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Honor Flight San Diego has returned home after an emotional trip to our Nation's Capitol.

On Sunday, nearly 1,000 people lined up at San Diego International Airport to welcome the Vietnam veterans back home.

Honor Flight San Diego departed early Friday morning from San Diego International Airport taking a three-day trip with their first All-Vietnam Veteran Flight. 

WATCH RELATED: Honor Flight San Diego tours Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. 

The Honor Flight brought 85 Navy HA(L)-3 Seawolves to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built for their service and sacrifice. The Seawolves are the most decorated Naval unit of the Vietnam War and in Naval Aviation history.

The Seawolves are all men who served as Huey pilots, crewmen, door gunners, and maintainers. Over 2,500 men served as Seawolves and sadly, 44 were killed in action and over 200 were wounded in combat.

WATCH RELATED: Honor Flight San Diego flies to Washington D.C. with 1st All-Vietnam Veteran Flight

Active-duty men and women were at the airport in uniform to help and greet the veterans. A local Navy unit called HSC-85 Firehawks was also there to greet the veterans. The Firehawks are the descendants of the Seawolves and there are four active-duty members who will accompany the flight as guardians for their Vietnam brothers.

The Honor Flight Mission

The purpose of Honor Flight is to usher these heroes to Washington DC. The mission of Honor Flight is to celebrate America's veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at our nation's memorials. The Honor Flight Network is currently serving veterans from the WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War eras. 

Participation in an Honor Flight trip gives veterans the opportunity to share this momentous occasion with other comrades, to remember friends and comrades lost. 

The Honor Flight Network was formed in 2005 by Jeff Miller and Earl Morse. While originally focused on honoring our nation's World War II veterans, the Honor Flight Network now also honors those who served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, intermediary operations, and in special cases of terminal illness or injury, veterans from more recent service eras. Since its formation in 2005, the Honor Flight Network has taken more than 245,000 veterans to Washington D.C.

WATCH RELATED: 'Hero Homecoming' | Honor Flight 2022 returns to San Diego (May 2022)


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