May 08, 2017 10:54 PM
On Sunday, about 180 Veterans on Southeastern Minnesota's Freedom Honor Flight returned from Washington, D.C.
Freedom Honor Flight is a non-profit organization that flies America's veterans to the U.S. capital tp see the famous memorials honoring their service.
Among this year's flight passengers, Dennis Semerad, who was joined by four of his six brothers in D.C.
"Went to all the veterans cemeteries, toured those in the D.C. area; there was just thousands of graves and markers you know it was quite a sight," Dennis said.
Each of the Semerad brothers served their country in some capacity.
"I always wondered how my mother and dad felt when 'oh there goes another one. Is he going to come back alive?' And how many rosaries she had to say to make us come back alive, I don't know," Paul Semerad said.
Their other two brothers who fought in the Korean War have since died, but they could feel them looking down.
The Honor Flight gave these brothers and other veterans the chance to live out their dream of visiting the memorials and being recognized for their service.
"When we got back from Vietnam, we were treated like we were the bad guys you know, people would almost ignore ya you know," Dennis said. "Finally now after all these years, we're getting recognition, if I wear this hat out in public people will come up and say thank you for your service. It's a nice change of attitude."
"I know it cost an awful lot of money, it takes a long time to organize them and a lot of volunteering, whoever is responsible for it are just incredible in what they do," Paul said.
"It might bring back a lot of bad memories, but it makes them feel like they aren't alone because all of the veterans are there with them, and they're happy to be alive," Dennis said.
Freedom Honor Flight is completely free to veterans.
Olivia York, KAAL TV
Created: May 08, 2017 10:54 PM
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