Area Vietnam vets finally get ‘welcome home’

LINCOLN, NEB – 05/01/2017
Veteran John Combs of Superior shakes hands as he walks through the welcoming party at the honor flight’s arrival on Monday, May 1, 2017 at the Lincoln airport.

LINCOLN — A chilly May evening was transformed into the Fourth of July here Monday night when  a crowd of about 6,500 people welcomed home 654 Nebraska Vietnam War veterans.
The group of veterans included several Cedar and Knox County men. They arrived at the Lincoln Municipal Airport late Monday, after returning home from an all-day visit to Washington, D.C., and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall.
Well wishers literally wore their patriotism on their sleeves to welcome the veterans home.
The American flag could be seen everywhere —  from hats to polos to leather jacket patches. Children waved flags and several veterans motorcycle clubs made appearances to show their support. Volunteers handed out yellow roses for the public to give to the veterans.
Around 7 p.m., several Windstar buses arrived at the airport carrying the wives of the veterans to the airport terminal. The wives were greeted with applause from those in attendance and were treated to a barbershop quartet group while they waited for their husbands to return from Washington, D.C.
Duane Hoesing, Fordyce, said he’d been to Washington, D.C., twice during Marine Corps reunions. Hoesing said the emotions he felt when he saw the memorial wall were indescribable.
“It’s just simply hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t seen the magnitude of the names on the wall,” Hoesing said. “I just can’t describe it.”

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