Honor Flight Nevada veterans tour D.C. and Virginia

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 5/12 2:18 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- "I've been waiting to see this place," said World War II Marine veteran Dick Freeman. 

Freeman is seeing the Iwo Jima memorial for the first time. He's one of only a few Marines on this Honor Flight Nevada trip.

"The detail on that is amazing," Freeman said. 

The Marines posed for some pictures in front of the statue to create new memories and, as he walked, Freeman shared some old ones with his son. 

"At the end of the war we went to Okinawa," Freeman told his son, Rick.

From the Iwo Jima memorial, the group traveled to Arlington National Cemetery for a special viewing of the changing of the guard.

Our veterans had a front row seat for the ceremony. 

"I thought it was awesome," WWII veteran James Stewart said.

For Stewart the precision revives memories from his days as a guard. 

"The drill sergeant will tell you 'I want to hear every one of those heels pop all at once,'" Stewart said. "Not go click, click, click, one loud, solid click."
 
Like many of the men and women on this trip, his experience was a first.

"I never got a chance to come see any of this," Stewart said.

At the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Goerge Wendell said seeing it all with fellow veterans makes it even more meaningful.

"It's a wonderful trip," Wendell said. "I would recommend it to everybody."

Wendell served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. This trip brings him back. 

"[It] brings tears," he said.

Wendell said it reminds him of the men who braved agent orange to fight.

"As you can see they're in parkas," he said. "It rains a lot over there. It's a forest land. It's someplace you wouldn't want to be."
 
A few hundred yards away, on another emotional tour,  the group visits the Vietnam Wall.

Many of them, like Joseph Maez, are looking for names of brothers in arms and thinking of the nearly 60 thousand troops who gave their lives.

"There's one," Maez said. 

From Iwo Jima, to Vietnam, it's a day of rememberance in places made to show these brave men and women we haven't forgotten them. 

"These memorials are really wonderful," Wendell said. "They're all honorable to our troops and, as we said, freedom does not come free."
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