KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Some of Kansas City’s veterans took a trip to the nation’s capital Sunday, without setting foot in an airport.
Dozens of volunteers worked for months to put together the city’s first Flightless Honor Flight, which brought the sights and sounds of Washington D.C. to Kansas City for veterans who are unable to make the trip to the capital.
The day started at Union Station where veterans from the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as World War II, heard from their captain and flight attendant. The group then took an escorted ride to the World War I Museum where they toured the exhibits.
It wrapped up with a welcome home, complete with a Patriot Guard-lined parking lot, crowds of strangers waving signs, and grateful faces glad for the chance to thank a veteran.
Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3 Moak Albritton said, “They did a good job of showing us what we would’ve seen and they didn’t get us tired. I don’t know how they could’ve done it in such a short time to impart so much onto us. The veterans weren’t always honored, remember. I’ve been in since 1946. Right now, it’s hard to find anybody that doesn’t like a veteran and I’m real pleased with that.”
He also got a big laugh over the police escort.
“The trip on the bus where they were pushing everybody out of the way. That was the entertainment factor! That was really fun!” said Albritton.
Dan Albritton, Moak’s son, said, “I’m trying to imagine being at the airport at 4 a.m. and going through all that and getting back, and there are a lot of vets out there that just don’t want to go through that. Most of us are children and we’re proud of our fathers and it’s kind of a chance for us to live through it through them too. Today was wonderful, they did a fantastic job.”
Emily Alford brought the girls from Girl Scout Brownie Troop 4155.
“To be able to give them an opportunity to demonstrate respect and kind of learn. I think that’s one of the things that’s hard to teach little kids is when say what respect is, it’s a really hard thing to teach so you have to show,” Alford said.
The Kansas City Flightless Honor Flight was the second in the country. The first was held recently in Orlando, Florida.
Community partners that helped put on this event include: Union Station, Daughters of the American Revolution, Freddy's, Grantham University, Big Daddy's Donuts, Kansas City Fire Department, Kansas City Police Department, WWI Museum, Sons of the American Revolution, Arrow Bus Lines and Patriot Guard.
To learn more about the flightless honor flights, click here.