Veterans receive warm welcome from the community at Meadows Field as they return from memorial trip

Honor Flight helped make trip free for veterans

BAKERSFIELD - It's a special homecoming for local veterans tonight.

Armed with flowers, posters and American flags, the community is welcoming back several of our local heroes.  The veterans landed around 9:30 p.m. Thursday at Meadows Field.

“I was stunned.  We went to the capital building and met all the dignitaries from the government,” said veteran Bob Lechtreck.

Nearly 100 of them went to Washington, DC.  For many, it was their first trip not only to our nation's capital but to the world war two memorials in their honor.

“It was a wonderful trip.  When we got there we had a crowd there, almost as big as this one at Meadows Field, but not this big,” said veteran, David Crawford.

The local Honor Flight made this possible through donations from the community.

The veterans were welcomed by many friends, family and even a band.

“Great trip we had.  A fine time at the memorial,” said veteran, Emery Crawford.

More than sixty people from Kern County also made the journey as trip organizers to assist the veterans in getting around the city.

It was a very emotional trip for these veterans.

“I can only imagine, the tremendous emotion that must have been mixed with gratitude for his country but also remembering those who parish during those war times that he participated in,” said Melisa Rizo, whose grandfather made the trip.

Some of them say they were very overwhelmed at the memorial.  Others say they are just happy to be back with their loved ones so they can not only rest up but tell their families stories from their historic trip.

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