Honor Flight receives overwhelming welcome home

Reported by: Alyx Sacks
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Updated: 10/07/2012 11:58 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) For most it was the welcome home they never got and it was long overdue.

"I didn't expect this at all," Honor Flight Nevada participant Max Augustine says.

With the help of the airport fire department, the Reno-Tahoe International Airport organized a water arch salute for the landing.

As they got off the Nevada One plane veterans were greeted by cheers and applause in the terminal.

Then, a bag pipe precession led 33-veterans to an overwhelming crowd to welcome them home.

Some were even brought to tears.

"My husband is on the Honor Flight and I've come to welcome him home and I'm just amazed at all the people who are here it’s just wonderful," Judy Poore says.

Governor Brian Sandoval happened to be traveling back to Reno and got to make the trip home with the veterans as well, an amazing coincidence.

"I just spent four of the best hours of my life riding with those veterans from Baltimore, Maryland back to Reno and I couldn't be more proud ladies and gentlemen of being the governor of this state, because we have living heroes amongst us," Gov. Sandoval says.

News 4 caught up with 90-year-old WWII Navy veteran Max Augustine, better known to his fellow comrades as Augie.

We got a moment to ask him about his favorite parts of the trip.

For him seeing "The Lone Sailor" memorial is something he'll never forget.

"There were other monuments as great, but that one struck home," Augustine says.

But Augie says his favorite memory of all was getting a gift from back home.

"They brought us a bunch of envelopes and in the envelopes were letters from kids from the grade school and I thought it was wonderful," Augustine says.

The Honor Flight was the first in Nevada history.

"This was the inaugural. As long as theirs a vet who wants to do it. We're going to do it for them," Honor Flight Nevada chairman and founder Jon Yuspa says.

For Augie, his return put the seal on a trip of a lifetime.

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