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Flag-waving crowd packs Blue Grass Airport for Honor Flight 2017

Sixty-seven Kentucky veterans received a heroes' welcome home Sept. 16 from patriotic, flag-waving citizens who filled the entire terminal at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport.

The veterans participated in a one-day tour of war memorials in the nation's capital. This was the seventh Honor Flight sponsored by Kentucky's Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. The mission was coordinated by Winchester-based Honor Flight Kentucky.

Several of the veterans, who served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam, said it was the best day of their lives.

"I'll never forget it as long as I live," said Albert Earl "A.E."Antle, 92, a World War II veteran from Jamestown who served in the Army.

As a bagpipe band led the returning veterans through the Lexington terminal, more than 1,500 family members and patriotic citizens waved "Welcome Home" signs and shook their hands.

Throughout the day, people greeted the veterans with smiles, requests for photos and many thanks for their sacrifices in the cause of freedom. They visited the Air Force Memorial, and memorials to 9/11, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, the group watched the changing of the guard and participated in an emotional wreath-laying ceremony.

"That's what I enjoyed the most," said Antle who participated in the ceremony and who received a Purple Heart for wounds that nearly took his life at Luzon in the Philippines. "It brought back memories of when I was in the service, the ones I fought with and those who didn't make it back. I'll never forget it."

For more information, contact:
Kevin Osbourn, EKPC Manager of Communications, (859) 771-3100
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