Local veterans take flight to Washington D.C.

Local veterans got a chance Wednesday to board an Honor Flight, traveling to Washington, DC to visit a number of memorials and pay tribute to some of the country's fallen heroes.

The group of veterans left Wednesday morning from Myrtle Beach International Airport.

Stephen Stevens, a Army veteran and William Haake, a World War II veteran, were getting ready to board the flight. They met while Stevens was helping Haake with a V.A. Claim and they've been friends ever since.

They made Wednesday's trip together in order to pay tribute to so many who made the ultimate sacrifice.

They will join other veterans from the across the country visiting several monuments that pay tribute to their bravery.

"I'm just honored to be there with him and going there with him," said Stevens.

For these two veterans of different generations, the flight is also a chance to share stories and memories.

"I mean our stories, I tell them a war story and they'll look at me and laugh and like no this is the way it really happened. They tell me one of their stories it's like I can't even compare," Stevens explained.

World War II veteran Claudius Huggins was also waiting to board the flight with his son Ed. He's the 500th veteran to sign up for Honor Flight Myrtle Beach.

"It means an awful honor to me, just something I never expected," Huggins explained.

Huggins said he is the last one left of the ten man crew he flew with during the war. "I hope to say a prayer for each one of them, for my family, for our country."

Some of the veterans who boarded Wednesday's flight prepared for something they've never experienced before, an experience some of them may never experience again: honoring and remembering their fellow vets.

The veterans returned safely to Myrtle Beach around 8 p.m. Wednesday, as friends, family and loved ones prepared a welcome home ceremony for them as they made their way down the terminal stairs.

"It was fantastic whoever got that all together just did a wonderful job. Everything went smooth. Everything went just well," said Clarence Newcomer, a World War II veteran upon returning from the trip.

"It was very emotional because I think it took them so long to be thanked, so I'm just so glad that this happened," Irene Bossert, a volunteer on the trip said.

This is the fourth year the honor flight has been taking veterans to Washington D.C., and organizers said the event happens twice a year.