16 local WWII and Korean War Veterans return from Washington

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The mission of Honor Flight Kern County is to honor our local veterans by sending them to Washington D.C. to see the memorials built in their honor for their service to our country. 16 of them spent the last few days in D.C. and there was quite a crowd at Meadows Field Monday night, waiting to welcome them home. 

Warren Morse was among the vets on this Honor Flight. 

“I just can’t hardly talk. It’s overwhelming. The tour was perfect and the people who took care of us did a splendid job,” Morse said of his three days in D.C.

He served in World War II and was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1945. 73 years later – Mr. Morse has a big family here in Bakersfield who were all very happy to see his safe return Monday night. 

His grandson, Gabriel Reyes, might have been the most excited of all. 

“It’s just insane! Everybody is here for one reason and it’s because people served,” Reyes told us Monday, while hugging his grandfather. He also told us how proud he is of his grandpa. 

Helen Juette is another veteran who took off to D.C. this weekend – she was the only woman on this Honor Flight and the oldest of her group – 98 years old. 

Back in 1944, Juette was serving at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland at just 25 years old. While in Washington this weekend, she was honored in a ceremony by the Women’s Memorial Staff. A complete surprise to her and her peers. 

At Monday night’s return celebration, she talked to 17 News about her memories of joining the Navy…

“I was on the street car in San Francisco and I passed the building that was there and I said, ‘All the kids are in the service. What the heck am I doing here?’ So I got off and walked back and joined the Navy,” Juette said. 

Honor Flight Kern County is always looking to send veterans to D.C. If you’d like to submit a veteran’s application for a ride on Honor Flight, or if you’d like to donate to help send more local veterans to our nation’s capital, visit the Honor Flight Kern County website

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