World War II Veterans Take Off For Washington DC

“Some great stories, some great heroes, great men.”

In most cases, taking the chance to say thank you 70 years after the fact seems a bit stale.

But for these 77 World War II veterans taking part in the Mid-Michigan Honor Flight is more than they ever felt they deserved.

“I can’t describe it, can’t the ladies giving you kisses and hugs, it’s just rare that’s all I can say,” says retired US Navy Chief Corpsman Bill Duncanson.

World War II vet John Conforte Jr. adds, “They were so nice to us all, thank you for what you did I didn’t feel particularly worthy of all that but they were wonderful.”

The trip didn’t cost the veterans a penny.

Many had never seen the World War II Memorial or the other war memorials throughout the capital.

Even 70 years at the war ended, the day brought back memories once faded over time.

“I think when you see it in person you really realize what a tribute it is and so beautifully done, a lot of work went into it I think we all appreciate it very much,” says Duncanson.

One of the guardians assigned to chaperone the veterans, Andrew Kroll says, “I took a step back, heard some of the conversations and they just shook their head, it brought tears to their eyes, it was just amazing.”

It’s estimated we lose about 800 WWII veterans a day.

So even though it may be 70 years late a thank you is in order for these men and women and those that fought with them.

Guardian John Ellsworth says, “It was good that they could see their memorial and that’s what it was all about, it wasn’t about what I could see personally but what we could show them.”

If you would like more information on how to sign a veteran up for a flight or on how to donate, please visit

9&10 News’ Eric Lloyd and Chief Photojournalist Corey Adkins flew to the nation’s capital with the veterans and have more details.