125 Philly-Area World War II Veterans Take 'Honor Flight'

125 Philly-Area World War II Veterans Take 'Honor Flight'

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SPRINGFIELD, Pa. -

They are "the greatest generation," and this weekend more than 125 veterans from our area got the chance to take a free trip to Washington, D.C., to see the very monument that honors their greatest service and sacrifice.

This tour of honor was made possible with the help of a local teenager who wanted to give this dying generation the VIP treatment he says they so greatly deserve.

Cheers, handshakes and repeated thank-yous capped off an emotional day for some of our area's bravest men and women.

On Saturday, six busloads of World War II veterans were welcomed home by loved ones in Springfield after making a special trip to our nation's capital to visit the war memorials built in their honor.

They stopped at the Tomb of the Unknowns and Arlington National Cemetery.

It was a free trip made possible by the Honor Flight PNetwork and a young man, 18-year-old Joseph Blaisse, a local Boy Scout who, along with other scouts, escorted the veterans as a way to honor them one more time.

Blaisse organized the trip for his final Eagle Scout project.

"Both my grandparents fought in the war, but they didn't talk about it too much. And kind of having an experience like this where you see veterans open up, it really kind of showed my eyes more to how good of a people these veterans are and how they truly are the greatest generation," Blaisse said.

Marianne Bomher is part of that generation. She joined the Navy when she was 20 years old.

"It was great because I was on the radio and learned how to do Morse code," Bomher said, as she rode on a bus.

Blaisse, an Archbishop Carroll High School sophomore, was humbled by the trip and the stories he heard during it – stories veterans often never speak of.

Joseph Bergner was an officer in the Marines. He says while he knows the nation is grateful, not every vet has been thanked individually for their sacrifice.

He says this trip changed that.

"There was a time in everyone's life when it was – it was just taken for granted. But today they showed the appreciation," said WWII vet Joseph Bergner.

It looks like Blaisse may have earned his badge, FOX 29's Stacey Stauffer reported.

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