WWII vets leave for Washington DC honor flight

26 San Antonio veterans left Friday morning, due to return Saturday at 8 p.m.


SAN ANTONIO – KSAT caught up with a group of WWII veterans before they took off for Washington D.C. on an honor flight Friday morning -- a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the heroes who have made great sacrifices for our country's safety.

Their pins, badges, and hats display their branches, battles and honors. Their eyes have seen destruction, and their bodies have been placed in harms way for our freedom.

Friday, as they waited for the Honor Flight to take them to the Washington D.C., their stories came alive.

"I was in college when the war broke out," says 92-year-old Rose Witherspoon.

Witherspoon was not only one of the first women in the U.S. Army, but one of the first 40 African American women to serve.

"It was most unusual because women hadn't left home," Witherspoon said. "In that time in our country, the women stayed home and the men went places. This was a rarity for all those women."

On Friday morning, Witherspoon sat next to fellow WWII vet Henry Cannon, a Navy sailor who wears his Purple Heart with pride.

"I went int the military in 1941. I was in 16 combats, wounded once," Cannon said.

He's 91 and calledFriday one of the best days of his life.

"I've seen somebody I thought was dead!" he said with a wide grin. "And he's alive! I met him today. 65 years, I thought he was gone. I couldn't believe it! I saw his ship burning from the stern. I said, 'Nobody could survive that.'"

It was the surprise of a lifetime. He said when he gets to the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C., he'll pay respects to those who weren't as lucky.

"I'm honored to have this privilege. I'll never forget this. In my 91 years, never," he said.

"It's an honor from God," Witherspoon said.

The 26 veterans will fly back to San Antonio Saturday night. Honor Flight organizers invite the public to greet them at Terminal B near ticketing at 8 p.m. for their welcome home.

About the Author: