Coast Guard, Humboldt Bay community, welcome home Honor Flight veterans

Coast Guard District 11 NewsMCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – Humboldt Bay-based Coast Guardsmen joined local community well-wishers, family and friends at Arcata-Eureka Airport to welcome home more than 100 World War II veterans returning from touring historic war memorials in Washington, D.C., Monday as part of the Honor Flight network.

The Honor Flight network started in 2005 with six private planes flown out of Ohio with 12 veterans and has since expanded to transport more than 22,000 veterans to the WWII and other war memorials in Washington, D.C. These flights serve to pay tribute to survivors of a past era, and to give them an opportunity to visit their memorials at the nation’s capital. The Humboldt Bay veterans were part of the North Coast Honor Flight.

“Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to the men and women who answered our country’s call, during one of its most difficult hours in our history,” said Lt. George R. Suchanek, the contingency planning officer for Coast Guard Group/Air Station Humboldt Bay. “Our mission here tonight is to honor those veterans and thank them for their service.”

The occasion turned festive when a large number of organized groups including the California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, California Conservation Corps, Eureka High NJROTC, Rotary Club, Red Cross and others cheered for the veterans who emerged from the airplane and into the terminal.

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