Eau Claire veteran goes on Honor Flight to Washington D.C. - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire veteran goes on Honor Flight to Washington D.C.

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- A local Korean War veteran got the honor of a lifetime, but it all started back in 1950.

"The draft was active," said veteran Dick Mitchell.

Mitchell knew he didn't want to be in the Army, so he signed up for the Navy, and after an explosion on his ship in 1954, he was honorably discharged.

Sixty years later, his family wanted to do something special for him. 

"I'd heard of the honor flight before," Mitchell said.

"He didn't really understand what it was about, so we could never get him to agree. We finally decided you know what, we're just going to sign him up," said Dick's grandson Matthew Mitchell. 

A few months later he got an acceptance letter, and who better to go with him than his grandson?

"I never knew my dad, so my grandpa's my dad and we got to do a lot of great stuff together," Matthew said.

Saturday morning, Dick and Matthew flew to Washington D.C. to see all the war memorials on the National Mall. 

"People that were just going on their day-to-day business were stopping in the walk ways to stand and applaud," Matthew said.. 

"It was exhilarating, I guess is the best way I can say it in one word. I'd never been honored like that before, never," Dick said.

On their way back home Saturday evening, veterans were given another surprise - mail call. 

"I love you very much, and I hope this has been a very special and meaningful day, love Matthew Mitchell. It brought tears to my eyes then, and it does again, and always will," Dick said. 

Dick said his favorite part of the trip was experiencing it with his grandson, and looking at the Korean War Memorial. 

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