Midwest Honor Flight unites veterans at the nation’s capital

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A total of 84 veterans and their guardians gathered at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport this past weekend before making the journey to our nation’s capital for the Midwest Honor Flight.

A chorus of cheers preceded and followed the veterans throughout most of the day.

Former military members from World War II to Vietnam marveled at the opportunity to see monuments and memorials for the first time.

“It’s quite moving. it’s a long time coming of course,” said Michael Madsen, a Vietnam Air Force veteran.

The memorials weighed differently for each person. But all veterans could find comfort in the company of one another.

Many of the guardians and sponsors that helped make the day happen went above and beyond the call, like many on the flight did so many years ago.

Former South Dakota National Guard Adjutant General Tim Reisch helped to get his friend and neighbor Tony Reidell to Washington. Tony, who was born and raised in White Bear Lake, Minnesota has called Howard, South Dakota home for about the last decade. One of the reasons he’s enjoyed his new home is the camaraderie that’s a few feet away.

“Tony lives right across from me in Howard, South Dakota and he’s at the Whispering Winds Assisted Living Center. I’m the Veteran Services Officer for the county and so I heard he wanted to go on this Honor Flight so I filled out the form and I’m lucky enough to go along with him,” said Reisch.

“Some of it brings back memories. good and bad and I guess knowing what other people went through their military experience. They should see the memorials, the cemetery. It’s our history and a lot of it is right here,” said Reidell.

For some visitors it is a return visit to the nation’s capital with a chance to really take in the commemorations littered throughout the city but for everyone it was a chance to recognize and honor those that have served.

Tomorrow on Dakota News Now, we’ll introduce you to two brothers who took part in the Midwest Honor Flight as a tribute to their third brother.