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Borderland veterans head to Washington D.C. for first Honor Flight since pandemic

EL PASO, Texas -- Veterans from across the Borderland are currently on the trip of a lifetime. A group of 35 veterans left for our nation's capital Thursday as apart of the Honor Flight of Southern New Mexico and El Paso.

The mission of the Honor Flight is to celebrate America’s veterans by inviting them our nation's memorials and sharing a day in honor.

Most of the veterans apart of this honor flights served in the Vietnam. They along with their guardians will spend the next two days in Washington D.C.. This is the 14th group from the Borderland to be able to do so.

Vernell Taylor, who served in Vietnam has waited since the start of the pandemic to finally go on this trip.

"I got kicked off two times," Taylor said jokingly. "So this time I finally made it, so it's a great experience and it's good to hang around other veterans."

Kenneth Read who also served in Vietnam while he's excited to visit other memorials, the Vietnam Memorial will be difficult to visit.

"There are guys that I not only served with but went to high school with that are on the (memorial) wall," Read said. "But its an honor to go with these guys."

Most of the men in the group are on the trip search for closure.

"Closure to help me from suffering from PTSD, post traumatic stress which all of us have," said Rene Fimbres, a Vietnam veteran. "It think it's very important to go through this, find the names that we lost and maybe, just maybe, we can go home with a different thought in mind." 

The public is invited to welcome the group back from their trip and honor them on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the El Paso International Airport. To learn more about the Honor Flight, click here.

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Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

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