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Posted: April 27, 2017 3:23 p.m.
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Veterans take Honor Flight


Service members honor veterans with a salute as the veterans depart on their Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. from Hunter Army Airfield April 21.

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Leaders from 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Garrison gathered to honor America’s veterans by wishing them farewell from Hunter Army Airfield as they embarked on an Honor Flight bus ride to visit memorials built to honor their service and sacrifice in our nation’s capital April 21.

Twenty-three local veterans who served during World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War gathered on Hunter for a ceremony. Past, present and future service members were represented as five local recruits received a standing ovation after taking the oath of enlistment.

The 3rd Infantry Division command sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Walter A. Tagalicud was on hand to show support and listen to stories of the veterans before bidding them farewell.

“I am truly inspired,” Tagalicud said. “I’m inspired because I am surrounded by heroes in this room. To all of the veterans: thank you for your service.”

As time continues, the day to thank a veteran from World War II, Korean War as well as Vietnam War is today, he explained. 
“An estimated 640 World War II veterans die each day and our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out,” said Tagalicud.

Air Force veteran Jimmie Alderman served during the Vietnam War. Alderman described his excitement to finally see the memorials and spend time with his fellow veterans.

"To [see] the Vietnam monument especially," said Alderman. "I had a lot of friends that lost their life in that war, it's sort of a return home, and let's face it, you can't get much better than that."

Vietnam veteran Edward Broussard served in the Marine Corps and is looking forward to the trip to the memorials.

"The trip obviously is a wonderful thing," said Broussard. "But even better to me is that the attitudes of the people have changed and they didn't have that animosity toward the Vietnam era as they did in the past and that's important."

The veterans received a final send off as they walked down a red carpet lined with service members from different branches. They will spend the next three days touring the nation’s capital and reconnecting with their past.

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