75 Tampa Bay area veterans get warm sendoff on Honor Flight trip to DC

77 World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans took off from the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport for an 'Honor Flight' to Washington, DC.

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Some well-deserving war veterans were treated to a free trip to Washington DC this morning, courtesy of the Honor Flight charity.

75 World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans were on the 29th Honor Flight. Before boarding their plane, one of the veterans played ‘God Bless America’ on a harmonica.

The group flew out of  St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport on an Allegiant charter for a day long visit to Washington D.C. and the war memorials.

“We are happy to continue this tradition of honoring our veterans with the Honor Flight and the welcome home celebration at St. Pete-Clearwater Int’l Airport,” said Honor Flight of West Central Florida President Beverly Frey.

“We are honored to host our veterans and the community in welcoming them home. Each celebration is as special as the last! We hope to see the many organizations and individuals continue to come out and celebrate our veterans at PIE,” said Airport Director Tom Jewsbury.

The veterans will return to St. Pete-Clearwater at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The public is invited to attend a “Welcome Home” celebration for the veterans. Various groups, military, and government leaders will be at the airport to greet the veterans.

Free parking will be available to attend the welcome home event. Free parking will only be granted after arriving flights depart.

Here’s something you may not know. St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport’s roots began as a WWII Army Training Base, and after the war the property was given to the County in 1946 to develop as an airport.

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