BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Honor Flight 48, which was full of Native American veterans for the very first Native American Honor Flight, touched down at Meadows Field Airport Saturday night.
Thirty-five Indigenous veterans took the trip to the nation’s capitol, taking off on Wednesday. Those vets had the chance to tour a new monument built in their honor.
“I never thought it would touch me in such a personal way,” said Manny Mendivil, a Native American veteran on the trip.
Native American vets on this trip had the chance to tour various memorials, including the Washington Monument.
“You see the battles from the beginning to the end as you go around [the memorial],” said Xavier Cordova, a veteran. ‘It tells a story.”
For Native American veteran Margaret Morin, the Honor Flight meant something truly special not just for her, but for the entire community.
“Now, you know we’re being recognized of all tribes,” said Morin. “Not just one or two — all tribes.”
For Ron Smith, the trip was something he feels every member of the armed forces should experience.
It’s great, and it’s something they should do for all the troops, all the vets,” said Smith.
With Honor Flight 48 in the books, many Native American veterans said it was a “trip of a lifetime.”