Honor Flight veterans greeted by large crowd in Wichita

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Story written by KAKE News summer intern Maeve Ashbrook 

An excited crowd at Wichita's Eisenhower Airport welcomed home passengers from the 73rd Kansas Honor Flight this afternoon.

"They need to be honored," Joan Renollet said." "When my husband was in, they were not honored that well."

Posters and balloons were just a few of the accessories that the crowd used to welcome the 37 veterans from the Korean and Vietnam War and their guardians.

Bob Renollet, a Vietnam War veteran, said he was unaware of just how touching the trip would be before he left.

"I didn't really know until I got on it," Bob said. "I had a friend of mine go who I had served with, and he told me to try it, but I didn't know. But once I got on, best thing that ever happened."

His wife Joan was anxiously awaiting his arrival so she could hear more about the trip.

"He called me, and I kept saying, 'Well we're getting ready to go to bed,' and he just kept talking and talking. He was so excited."

Renollet was encouraged by his friend in Minnesota to go on the honor flight. 18 months later, he was notified that he would be on the 73rd. The experience is one he called surprising.

"We got treated in every airport just like this," Bob said "We were treated like royalty on every flight. Everywhere we turned, we ate supper at a restaraunt last night, same thing."

Another veteran's wife, Mary Ciccone, teared up while saying she was "grateful he got to go."

A feeling of gratitude that every veteran, family, and friend expressed.

KAKE News' Alyson Acklin and photographer Nolan Roth joined the veterans on the trip.  Watch for their special reports Monday-Thursday on KAKE News at 5.

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

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