Written by Becca Habegger, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
Ninety-one World War II and Korean War veterans from the Greater Dubuque area arrived home Monday night from their trip.
It was a homecoming worthy of these American veterans.
For more than 13 hours, the veterans had been traveling - by foot, by wheel and by cane. The welcome home reception, with hundreds of supporters, put a spring in the veterans' step. As it turns out, what they lacked in sleep, they made up for in spades and smiles.
Gloria Rupp is a former World War II Army nurse and was one of a handful of women on the trip.
"I had never seen the World War II memorial, and that is outstanding," she said.
World War II veteran Bob Heim agreed, saying the memorial impressed him the most.
"I didn't think they'd do that much for the veterans," he said.
His daughter Ruth Heim accompanied her father on the trip as his guardian.
"I don't think I've had a dry eye all day," she said.
It was a lasting memory for both her and her father.
"We discovered he has a serious illness, so the timing was very good," Heim said. "He is well enough and strong enough to make it, so we're grateful to the good Lord for watching out for all of us and taking care of him," she said
Throughout the trip, these 91 veterans were showered with honor.
"We are treated like royalty," Rupp said.
Now, however, they'll enjoy the comforts of home.
"[I'm] coming home to all the kids and the grand kids," Heim said.
Honor Flight of Greater Dubuque did a double-header, with a second flight of 91 more veterans taking off Tuesday morning and arriving home late that night.
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