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Upon returning home, Utah Honor Flight vets get welcome they deserve

(Ray Boone/KSL-TV)



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WASHINGTON — After an unforgettable three-day trip to Washington, D.C. to see their memorial, 46 local World War II veterans with the Utah Honor Flight returned home late Saturday night.

Their flight was delayed by a few hours, but the veterans were all smiles as they received a hero's welcome by a crowd of friends, family and well-wishers at the Utah State Fairpark.

When the war ended, most of them were still overseas. By the time their service was up, they came home on trains and buses, often just picked up by their parents in the middle of the night, returning to a country trying to leave the war in the past.

They say this homecoming is something they never dreamed they'd see.

"I never expected anything like this in all my life. When I came home, I didn't even get a honk of a horn,” said Don Pullan who served in the Army during World War II. “And tonight, 70 years later, I get a welcome that is just out of this world."

Before they left Saturday, the group visited historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore where they got a chance to fold a giant replica of the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the national anthem.

The group said one of the highlights from their trip was the gratitude they received from a tour group of school kids.

This is hardly the end of the Utah Honor Flight for the spring. Two more flights of World War II veterans will be going to Washington in the next three weeks.

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Ray Boone

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