Middle TN veterans taking Honor Flight to nation's capital - WSMV Channel 4

Middle TN veterans taking Honor Flight to nation's capital

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The veterans visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (WSMV) The veterans visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (WSMV)
Veterans on board the Honor Flight heading to D.C. (WSMV) Veterans on board the Honor Flight heading to D.C. (WSMV)
Bob Steele and his service dog were asked to join the Honor Flight. (WSMV) Bob Steele and his service dog were asked to join the Honor Flight. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

More than two dozen Middle Tennessee veterans are being honored with a special once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Twenty-five veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were flown from Nashville to Washington, D.C., for their Honor Flight on Wednesday.

The veterans are going to be visiting war memorials and Arlington National Cemetery.

To say they're thankful would be an understatement.

"It's an honor. It's really an honor to be on," said Vietnam veteran Larry Matlock.

The trip to the nation's capital is completely free for the veterans who attend.

So many of these veterans proudly wore their Purple Heart hats and military pins at the airport, knowing this trip will be exciting and emotional.

"If you haven't seen it and seen the names that were on that wall, it's kinda breathtaking ... you don't really realize until you look at that wall and see how many names are on it," Matlock said.

Bob Steele held back tears thinking of his fallen friends.

"I lost a lot of friends in Vietnam, and like I said, it's gonna bring back a lot of memories," he said.

News 4 first met Steele in 2013 when he had just received his service dog, Dillon.

"He's my 24/7, so it's special," Steele said.

Dillon helps his owner battle PTSD. He is the first service dog to go on an Honor Flight out of Middle Tennessee.

"It's gonna be an emotional, long day. He's gonna be tired, I'm gonna be tired, but we're just looking forward to it," Steele said.

All of this is packed into one day. The group is scheduled to arrive back in Nashville around 9:30 p.m.

The Honor Flight program in Middle Tennessee has flown more than 500 veterans to our nation's capital since it started in 2008.

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