GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A group of World War II veterans from Mississippi spent Wednesday in Washington D.C. on a trip of a lifetime. The veterans visited the World War II Memorial.
Jessica Bowman was at the Gulfport Biloxi International airport early Wednesday morning when the buses carrying the American heroes arrived.
You could see them from a mile away. Outside the Gulfport Biloxi International Airport the motorcade lit up the sky as more than 80 World War II veterans were escorted in.
World War II veteran Robert Dyess couldn't wipe the grin off his face.
"And I see all these happy veterans around and I'm happy too," Robert Dyess said.
Dyess said being part of the honorary group that will spend one entire day in our nation's capital visiting the World War II Memorial is gratifying.
"I used to fly in the Air Force as a radio operator and it was a great job. I appreciated it," said Dyess.
"Well it's just a historic moment and brings back lots of memories," Freeman Olgesvy said. "The service I had at Eglin Field [Air Force base] in Florida, I had with B29's. The airplane that bombed Japan and ended the war."
While the visit to Washington, D.C. may be emotional for those who served during World War II, Freeman Oglesvy reminds everyone it is also a joyous day.
"We're going to celebrate the World War II veterans that are living," said Oglesvy.
For many of these heroes, the trip will certainly be something special. It will be their first visit to the memorial that was built in their honor.
"I've been to Washington, but it was on business and I just couldn't stop to see it," Dyess said.
News anchor Jeff Lawson and photojournalist Greg McNease traveled with the veterans for their emotional journey. They'll share more stories from the group later today on WLOX News and WLOX.com.