WILMINGTON — For 80 local veterans, the past few weeks have been especially emotional and fulfilling, as they received the “Welcome home” and “Thank you for your service” many didn’t receive years ago when they returned home after their honorable service to their country.
Beginning with the send-off on Sept. 30 at the veterans memorial in Wilmington, an exuberant Clinton County crowd came out to kick-off the next 30 hours dedicated to honoring them and their service.
Veterans were treated to the American flag unfurled from the top of a WFD ladder truck lined with first responders courtesy of the Wilmington Fire Department, a police and sheriff’s escort through three counties to the hotel in Dayton courtesy of the Wilmington Police Department and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, a heroes welcome everywhere they went on Saturday, and culminating with a homecoming at Dayton International Airport, where they were greeted by family, friends, military personnel and another 1,000 or more patriotic citizens holding “Welcome Home” signs, loudly cheering, and shaking as many of their hands as possible.
However, it appears as though the homecoming at the Dayton airport was not the final show of appreciation for the Honor Flight veterans. Wilmington and Clinton County continues to find ways to demonstrate their gratitude for our county’s veterans.
The faculty, students and staff of Wilmington High School have invited all the men and women who traveled to Washington, D.C. on the first Clinton County Honor Flight to attend a special program in their honor. The event is scheduled to take place during halftime of the final home football game of the regular season Friday, Oct. 28. Special music will be provided by the WHS Marching Band. Each veteran from the flight in attendance that evening will be introduced and more.
The entire community is invited to come cheer on the Hurricanes and show your appreciation for the sacrifices made by our county’s veterans.