NC, SC veterans depart from GSP for 18th Honor Flight to Washing - FOX Carolina 21

NC, SC veterans depart from GSP for 18th Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

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Honor Flight veterans taking off from GSP. (4/28/18 FOX Carolina) Honor Flight veterans taking off from GSP. (4/28/18 FOX Carolina)
Honor Flight veterans taking off from GSP. (4/28/18 FOX Carolina) Honor Flight veterans taking off from GSP. (4/28/18 FOX Carolina)
Honor Flight taking off from GSP. (4/28/18 FOX Carolina) Honor Flight taking off from GSP. (4/28/18 FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Ninety-three veterans from the Carolinas traveled to the nation’s capital to participate in the 18th Honor Flight, which departed from the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport on Saturday morning. 

The day trip to Washington allowed veterans to see memorials in their honor.

Forty-two veterans from South Carolina and fifty-one veterans from North Carolina joined nearly one-thousand veterans who flew in on 13 Honor Flights from around the country. 

Our cameras were rolling during the emotional trip to Washington D.C., which gave veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and one veteran from the Iraqi War, an opportunity to see memorials dedicated to them.

The veterans were honored with music, cheering and crowds from the moment they stepped into the GSP Airport, off the plane at Reagan International Airport, and at every stop along the way.

“Coming into the airport and seeing all the people there greeting us and everything that we’ve done has just been a tremendous thing to remember and be grateful for,” said Sandi Filiberto.

Filiberto, the only female veteran on Saturday’s Honor Flight, said she served in the Women’s Army Corps during the Korean War.

Each of the veterans have their own stories and memories of their years in the military, but they’re united through one common bond: their service to our country.

“The Army, the Marines, the Navy and the Air Force was represented. We’ve made friends with people we’ve never saw before and we’ve shared stories that brought back memories of yesteryear,” Matthew Bacoate Jr. said.

Bacoate, a native of Asheville, NC, served in the Army Medical Corps during the Korean War.

The veterans were honored at every stop; the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“Hundreds of people were there congratulating and saluting us and I really became emotional to see that many people came out to welcome us who have served our country,” Bacoate said.

Each memorial brought back more and more memories and emotions. 

“It’s commemorative of the people that are responsible for me being here now. They’re the ones that refused to let me die in a POW camp,” Beverly “Ben” Skardon said.

Army Veteran Ben Skardon survived the Bataan Death March that killed thousands of soldiers during WWII. 

“I have to emphasize that it’s others that helped me and that’s why I am here,” Skardon said.

For some of the veterans, it‘s their first time seeing the memorials dedicated to them, and those they served with who paid the ultimate price. 

“It brings tears to my eyes to see it,” Sandi Filiberto said.

Find out more information about the Honor Flight here.

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