SAN DIEGO — Honor Flight 2022 has landed safely in San Diego. Today was final day of a three-day trip. Eighty-five veterans flew to Washington DC for the weekend to visit the nation's memorials. CBS 8's photojournalist Scott Hall and I were the only television crew from San Diego to take the trip. As the veterans walked off the plane, they were met with a "Heroes' Homecoming'.
"Wow, I can't believe this. Nobody ever did anything like this for me," shouted Army Veteran Lou Benavides who served in the Korean War.
As the veterans entered Terminal 2, local police estimate a crowd of about 1000 people applauded their arrival. It wasn't the Super Bowl or March Madness, but it sure did feel like it. The terminal was filled the screaming fans of America's finest. After fighting in World War II and Korea, most of the veterans just wanted to live a quiet life. Sorry, nothing quiet about this arrival.
"These veterans are heroes. They deserve this," shouted one woman waving an American flag.
The veterans fought in some of the biggest, bloodiest battles in American history. You'd think nobody could sneak up on them, but teary eyes told a different story. Veterans once were met by bullets and enemy fire were attack once again; ambushed by appreciation.
Isn't it great that nobody must take cover at a Heroes' Homecoming!
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.
Honor Flight is an all-volunteer, donation based non-profit organization. To learn more information, click here.
WATCH RELATED: Honor Flight 2022 Day Two | Veterans visit nation's memorials.