Honor Flight of Southern Indiana meets veterans

Honor Flight of Southern Indiana meets veterans
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:22 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2023 at 8:52 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The 14th Honor Flight of Southern Indiana is right around the corner.

The Catholic Diocese of Evansville welcomed over 80 veterans on Saturday to meet all the people who will be on the upcoming Honor Flight.

“Everybody’s just energized, and it’s so nice to meet the veterans face to face,” said Sharron Lawrence, Vice President for the Honor Flight of Southern Indiana.

It was a day full of firsts, especially for Annabelle and Phillip Brewster, who served during the Vietnam War.

“At first they said, ‘well you all might not be able to go on this one because we take the oldest people first,’” Annabelle said.

But then, they would receive a call.

“She started hollering at me, ‘Phil, come here, come here, come here,” Phillip said. “I thought she had fallen or something.”

Annabelle hadn’t fallen, she just received news that she and her husband were going on the Honor Flight together.

“It’s just a dream come true,” Annabelle said. “It really is.”

Annabelle says she’s been to the nation’s capital before, but she knows this time will be special for two reasons: being able to take the trip with her husband, and also being able to honor the people who didn’t come home.

“It’s like you’re there with your friends.,” Annabelle said. “And the [Vietnam] wall it’s just, it’s too sad.”

Phillip says when he came home, there were no welcome-back celebrations. A known tradition in the Honor Flight is the big welcome home, something officials are excited to set up.

“So this is the time for us to give back to them and show them how much we do appreciate their service, and that we do want to welcome them home,” said Angie Adams, Committee Chair for the Welcome Home Committee.

Phillip says he can’t wait for the welcome home.

“[I’m] really looking forward to when we come back in the airport and they finally give the Vietnam veterans the honor that they should’ve gotten,” Phillip said.

Annabelle says they’re excited to be with other veterans, and to get to know people they may have not crossed paths with. One thing for certain, sleep will be hard to come by for the pair the night before the flight.

“No, because we’re probably afraid we’ll miss getting up in time to go,” Annabelle said.

The EVV14 flight will be wheels up on April 22 en route to Washington D.C.

Officials with Honor Flight say they already have World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans, and expect a wide array of veterans after interviews are done.

For more information about the Southern Indiana Honor Flight, click here to find information on their website.