WWII and Vietnam War veterans return to Oregon from trip to D.C.

Honor flight returns to Oregon on October 1, 2017. (SBG photo) 

It’s business as usual at PDX, but gate C9 had people turning heads Sunday night.

Many at the gate, wielding American flags, waiting for a special plane to arrive: a plane carrying 22 WWII and Vietnam War veterans.

Once the veterans came through the gate, they were welcomed with cheers and a bagpipe player leading through the concourse. It’s homecoming they never expected.

“Oh that was something!” said Paul, a WWII Navy veteran from Medford.

Every step was met with a handshake, a hug and a smile.

These vets are returning home from a weekend in Washington D.C visiting war memorials built in their honor.

For many, it was their first trip to the nation’s capital.

“It was all really emotional, real emotional,” said Paul.

Each veteran bears a piece of the past they could never forget.

“It brings back lots of memories. I lost a lot of guys and friends and it was not a picnic,” said Bill Cochran, A WWII Army veteran.

However, Cochran was glad he could honor the memories with his comrades.

“My favorite part is all of us guys coming together. Most of us hadn't seen each other in a lot of years we're scattered all over the united states,” he said.

Cochran is going back home to Brookings in the morning and the others will head back to southern Oregon.

However, Sunday night, they're staying in Portland, savoring the moments that make them proud they served their country.

“I'll never forget it of course. Not too many years to remember, but I’ll remember it all those years,” said Cochran.

The next Honor Flight that will land at PDX will be one of the biggest, carrying more than 100 local veterans and their guardians.

The flight will land October 6.

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