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.

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • Deer collisions on the rise, auto body shops see increase in damaged cars

    Deer collisions on the rise, auto body shops see increase in damaged cars

    It's been a busy week at Flinthills Collision Center in El Dorado.  Fourteen cars, including a Butler County Sheriff's car, were brought in after colliding with a deer.  

    It's been a busy week at Flinthills Collision Center in El Dorado.  Fourteen cars, including a Butler County Sheriff's car, were brought in after colliding with a deer.  

  • Mayoral candidates consider future of downtown Wichita

    Mayoral candidates consider future of downtown Wichita

    Mayoral Candidates, Jeff Longwell and Brandon Whipple, faced off in the KAKE Studios Tuesday night.  The two offered differing views on their vision for Wichita, but they both agree that the future of the river is crucial for the entire city. 

    Mayoral Candidates, Jeff Longwell and Brandon Whipple, faced off in the KAKE Studios Tuesday night.  The two offered differing views on their vision for Wichita, but they both agree that the future of the river is crucial for the entire city. 

  • Highway speed tolling opening at southern terminal

    Highway speed tolling opening at southern terminal

    The Kansas turnpike's southern terminal has been undergoing some big changes, to make your ride faster and smoother. It's your pass to the open road. the Kansas turnpike is introducing highway speed tolling at the southern terminal, all part of a 55 million dollar project to improve tolls.  "We have two new lanes which will now be able to keep you at high speeds and never slow down if you have a K-TAG," says Steve Hewitt. Not only is it a faster way of traveling, it'...

    The Kansas turnpike's southern terminal has been undergoing some big changes, to make your ride faster and smoother. It's your pass to the open road. the Kansas turnpike is introducing highway speed tolling at the southern terminal, all part of a 55 million dollar project to improve tolls.  "We have two new lanes which will now be able to keep you at high speeds and never slow down if you have a K-TAG," says Steve Hewitt. Not only is it a faster way of traveling, it'...

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.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE