Eastern Iowa veterans take "Honor Flight" to Washington

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A plane full of Eastern Iowa veterans landed in Washington D.C. this morning. The group was taken on an honor flight, getting the chance to see the sites in our nation’s capital.

“I didn’t want to renew, review any of the past. But now I’m glad that I finally did come,” said Frank Whitters.

Whitters was an Army Air Force gunner in World War II says he thinks about his days dropping bombs over Japan and seeing planes explode before his eyes. That is part of the reason he did not want to make the trip initially.

“I just had enough of it,” said Whitters.

He says he is happy he made the trip with his son. But he saw a lot of his friends die in Japan and the trip did bring him down a sorrowful memory lane.

“I hate wars….that’s all I can say I guess,” said Whitters.

101 Eastern Iowa veterans made the trip, from the Vietnam War, Korean War, but just two from the World War II: Whitters and Paul Gugeler.

“We have a pretty good time visiting with each other, relating old times,” said Gugeler.

Gugeler also served in Japan, just after the end of World War II. He says the investment in the memorials on the National Mall is an important one that he cherishes.

“I think it’s just a super thing…just absolutely wonderful,” said Gugeler.

It is just a day trip for the Iowa veterans. They return home Tuesday night.