UPDATE: Veterans welcomed home by hundreds - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Veterans welcomed home by hundreds

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Veterans woke up early this morning to board a plane at the Waterloo Regional Airport, landing in Washington, D.C. mid-morning and heading out to tour area war memorials.

Tuesday's trip is the second Honor Flight to leave from the new Sullivan, Hartogh, Davis Hub in Waterloo.

Honor Flight is a program that flies veterans to Washington, D.C. for free to tour war memorials.

Tuesday, the veterans toured the World War II Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial.

With rain in the forecast, Janet Liming, one of the main organizers of this flight, said during a live interview on Today in Iowa that they will be providing ponchos for the day.

Robert Froelich is a veteran going on the flight.  His son Rod came from Texas to see him off Tuesday morning.  Family plans on spending the day in Waterloo until the emotional homecoming Tuesday night.

Lyle Rathbone, a WWII veteran from Waterloo was excited to go on the flight when we interviewed him live on Today in Iowa.  Rathbone has been to Washington, D.C. in the past but hasn't been back since the WWII memorial was built.

The flight is expected to land back in Waterloo sometime after 10:00 p.m.  People are encouraged to come to the Waterloo Regional Airport to welcome home the veterans from their day in our nation's capitol.

KWWL's Colleen O'Shaughnessy traveled along with the veterans Tuesday. Watch for her reports later this week.

The inaugural Honor Flight out of Waterloo was on May 10.  There is a third flight scheduled in September.

Waterloo is the newest of six current Honor Flight hubs in our state, others leave from Fort Dodge, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, the Quad Cities, and Mason City

More than 8,000 World War II veterans are on the national Honor Flight list, waiting for the chance to see their memorials.  250 have died while waiting.

If you are a veteran interested in going on the Honor Flight, you simply have to fill out an application.  Top priority is given to WWII and terminally ill veterans of all wars, but if you're a veteran of the Korean or Vietnam Wars you can apply too.  Simply print out an application from the Honor Flight Network's website, fill it out and send it in.

If you are interested in donating your time as a volunteer there are positions with Honor Flight Network.  Volunteers are needed for send-off and welcome home receptions, at regional offices answering phone calls, entering application information into the system, and contacting veterans and guardians to make arrangements for the flights.

If you want to volunteer, print off a form from the honorflight.org website, fill it out and mail it back.

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