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Utah veterans head to Washington D.C. for trip of a lifetime

Posted at 8:51 AM, May 28, 2024

PROVO, Utah — A group of Utah military veterans are headed to Washington, D.C. Tuesday as part of the latest trip with the Utah Honor Flight program.

I was at the Provo airport this morning to see the excited crew take off for their trip of a lifetime, which was sponsored by the Larry H and Gail Miller Family Foundation and BYU College of Nursing so that everyone could attend for absolutely free.

Well before the sun came up, dozens of Utah veterans lined up to get their credentials and in some cases, their wheelchairs, before boarding this latest Utah Honor Flight.

Utah Honor Flight Director Stephanie Harmon has been on more than 20 of these trips and says they’re all special.

“Every one of these veterans experiences something different, you know?" she explained.

Marine Veteran Vincent DeOllos described his anticipation the night before for the special trip.

“I couldn’t sleep last night!” he exclaimed.

Harmon says for other guests on the trip, it brings a sense of healing and peace.

“It’s definitely a healing trip, it brings out a lot of emotion for them," she said.

That was definitely the case for Wynn Hubrich, a Vietnam Combat Veteran.

“It brings back some memories, and I’m just going to love these guys to be with, comrades who went through the same thing," he said.

It all became almost overwhelming for Hubrich as he is not only a combat veteran, but also an immigrant.

He and his family immigrated to the United States after fleeing East Germany in the 1950’s and they had to spend time in a refugee camp before finally settling in America.

“I love the flag and this United States of America," he reflected. "It’s a free country and it’s given us a life that you can’t get anywhere else in the world…I am so appreciative of this beautiful, amazing country. Do we have problems? Yes, who doesn’t? But boy it’s still the best country on earth!”

After touching down in Washington D.C., the group will spend the day touring monuments and memorials before returning home on Wednesday night.