A hero's welcome from Midwest Honor Flight Mission 5

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War will be honored for their service Sept. 24.

Now 90 years old, Allison served in the Korean War and Vietnam War.

For many veterans, this is a welcome home they never received.

When asked if he considers himself an American hero, James Allison, who served 27 years in the Army, said, "I would say, there's others that have done a lot more than I have."

Those involved in Midwest Honor Flight have a different perspective.

"When you meet a hero, they never seem to feel like they are, or they're deserving of that, but these veterans that are going with us are absolutely heroes," said Jim Bussell, on the Midwest Honor Flight Board of Directors.

"Definitely American heroes. They've had the potential of sacrificing everything and not even making it home and I think everyone should be extremely grateful that they did what they did, and made it back in one piece," said Rapid City Fire Department Paramedic Bryan Ott.

More than 80 veterans serving in World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam will travel to our nation's capital as part of the Midwest Honor Flight Mission 5.

"Everyone is emotional and impactful for a different reason. I'm excited about this one because from the time we leave Rapid City until the time we get home, I'm going to have two veterans along with us and what I'm really excited about is hearing what they think on the way home," said Bussell.

At 90 years old, this is Allison's first-ever Honor Flight tour, a privilege bringing back memories of his Army retirement speech.

"I started out, as I leave the Army, he stopped me and he said I'm sorry but I must stop you, once you're in the Army you never leave it, and I think that's true," said Allison.

Midwest Honor Flight Mission 6 will be Oct. 12 and is taking 120 Vietnam Veterans to Washington D.C.

Mission 6 will bring the total veterans who have flown on a Midwest Honor Flight to just over 520.