Honor Flight welcomes home Veterans on Father’s Day

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Honor Flight Rochester welcomes home Mission 72 Veterans Rochester International Airport.

This welcome home created flashbacks for some. Tears of joy filled the eyes of some veterans as Mission 72 landed home in Rochester on Father’s Day weekend.

"My children and their children were here. How can I beat that?" Paul Klemmer said, a Navy veteran.

Richard Masters, another Navy vet says he too was joined by family for the flight.

"My son brought me here to go on the honor flight, I love it."

Jerry Butterbrodt, the trip leaderm says he’s been doing these missions for 15 years, this is his fourth Father’s Day mission and it never ceases to pull his heart strings.

"I get to spend it with the heroes of honor flight. And to me that’s what father’s day is all about, making their day, especially this weekend," Butterbrodt said.

"Listening to different versions of war stories, is a special adventure. "They are heroes and when they get the opportunity to use the mic and tell their stories, that’s when the magic happens," according to Butterbrodt.

For the year, six missions will be flown, including three more in the fall.

HFR Missions provide local veterans with what has been described as “the trip of a lifetime.” Veteran applications never expire. Their placement on the fly list advances with each flown mission.

Fifty veterans flew Mission 72 including two WWII veterans, eight Korean War veterans, seven Cold War veterans, one Korea/Cold War veteran, two Cold War/Vietnam veterans and 30 Vietnam veterans. The branches of service are Army (26), Navy (9), Air Force (9), and Marines (6).

Since 2008 including Mission 72, HFR will have flown 3,490 veterans—funded entirely through the generosity of the community including individuals, organizations, corporations and volunteers.