EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The Mission 16 Honor Flight of Southern, NM and El Paso, TX honored Korean and Vietnam War veterans at the El Paso International Airport Saturday, September 30th.
The Honor Flight, which started up again in 2022 after a 2-year COVID hiatus, brought 30 veterans from southern New Mexico and El Paso home from a visit to Washington, D.C.
The trip started Thursday, September 28th, and took the Korean and Vietnam War veterans to national memorials, honoring those who lost their lives fighting for their country.
The annual flight is intended to provide closure, healing, and the welcome home that, according to Jerry Jacobitz, Veterans’ Program Coordinator of the city of El Paso, the veterans never got when they first came home from war.
“They didn’t get what soldiers and service members get today," said Jacobitz.
"[Now] we have hundreds of people in the airport clapping and welcoming them home," he added.
El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said events like these honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and added that he's appreciative of all of El Paso’s veterans.
“I always tell people the biggest compliment any veteran makes to our community is they have an opportunity to retire anywhere, and [for veterans] to make El Paso their home, to make their family, to grow their family, they're a perfect example of that," said Leeser Saturday.