Exchange Club Sends Veterans to D.C. - - ABC13

Exchange Club Sends Veterans to D.C.


Reporter:  Shelley Basinger l Videojournalist:  Ira Quillen

Lynchburg, VA – It was such a special day for dozens of veterans in our area. The Exchange Club sent 80 veterans to Washington D.C. to see the memorials that stand in their honor.  Each veteran could take a guest. 

An ABC-13 crew was there as 165 people boarded three buses early Wednesday morning.

'We heard about this a couple of weeks ago and I told my dad about it.  We're both really looking forward to it.  We're both prior Marines, so it's kind of a big deal for us," said veteran Wade Smith.

It's a very big deal for the trip's oldest veteran, 95-year-old Robert Bryant.  He fought in World War Two.

"There'll be a lot of excitement," Bryant said as he boarded the bus.

This is the fourth year the Exchange Club has funded this project.

"We wanted to be able to do something to honor the veterans who served in the wars of past," said Exchange Club organizer Eugene Wingfield.  "The majority of these people, especially the World War Two and Korean veterans, many of them have never been up there to see them. They just don't have the resources or the ability to do it."

But this is so much more than just a 'paid-for' vacation.  It's a way for these veterans to remember the friends they lost.

"Just like to pay tribute to my fallen comrades that gave the ultimate price, you know, for us," said Vietnam War veteran Milton Carson.

The itinerary for the trip included the Marine Corps Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, the World War II memorial and other sites.

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