Honor Flight SC returns to the skies - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Honor Flight SC returns to the skies

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Nearly 100 World War II veterans will get an up close and personal look at a memorial built just for them. Honor Flight SC takes off early Wednesday morning to take vets to the nation's capital.

The youngest veteran on the flight is 85, while the oldest turns 98 in January.

"When they all get together, it's just like a bunch of little kids in the candy store," said Honor Flight volunteer Jerry Neely. "Most of them don't even know each other."

Addison Bostain, Jr., 97, of Chapin will be one of those "kids" seeing his memorial for the first time.

"All the veterans I've talked to, everyone of them were really enthusiastic about it -- said you shouldn't miss it," said Bostain.

Bostain served in the Army. He wasn't sent overseas, but helped to rehab soldiers at a hospital in Camp Butner, North Carolina.

"As every guy has told me, it doesn't matter if you were a cook, a baker, a truck driver, or carried a rifle -- it all worked," said Neely.

This will be Neely's second trip. He calls it a privilege to honor the veterans he says didn't come home to much after the war.

"When they came back in 1945, they had nobody welcoming them," said Neely "Let off at a train station -- that sort of stuff."

Bostain says he really wasn't expecting any fanfare. "I didn't know there was supposed to be. We just came home," he said.

But to see this memorial and to share it with his son, Ronnie, is an experience that's been well worth the wait.

"I heard someone recently say we should all be thankful for our teachers teaching us how to read, but we should be especially thankful for the veterans of World War II for the fact that we're not reading German or Japanese, and I think that's true," said Ronnie.

The veterans will be taking off around 8:00am. They'll be visiting several other monuments as well including the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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