Honor Flight makes cameo on 'NCIS'; local hub gearing up to take veterans to D.C. in May

South Willamette Valley veterans took an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. The veterans had the oportunity to visit war memorials and other historic sights across the capitol. Photo courtesy South Willamette Valley Honor Flight

EUGENE, Ore. - The March 28 episode of "NCIS" uses an Honor Flight for veterans to Washington, D.C., as a backdrop for a crime thriller.

"When a Marine is murdered at a charitable event, an irritable war veteran must help solve the crime," according to a description of the episode, which airs #LiveOnKVAL at 8 p.m. | TV SCHEDULE

The story is fictitious.

But this one is real:

Dozens of local veterans will soon be heading to the nation's capital with the South Willamette Valley Honor Flight program.

So far, he local honor flight program has taken 427 veterans to Washington, D.C., to see their memorials.

The veterans are given the trip at no charge as a way to honor and thank them for their service.

South Willamette Valley Honor flight raises the money for the trips, mostly through donations from the public.

"These guys deserve some thanks and some honor and some appreciation and it's amazing to see how the public treats them when we go through airports, when we get to memorials," said Ed Brock with South Willamette Honor Flight. "It's amazing to watch that and have them come back and say oh, somebody did appreciate me. They did honor what I did. It's incredible."

RELATED | World War II veterans reflect on previous Honor Flight

Nationwide, there are 131 Honor Flight hubs in a total of 47 states.

As part of our Honoring Our Veterans campaign, KVAL will again travel with the veterans in May to bring you the pictures and stories of local veterans on the trip.

"They tell us it's the most amazing thing they've done in their lives since their war experience," Brock said. "What we hear from the families of a lot of these guys is, thank you for taking dad, grand dad, uncle - they've opened up now and begun to talk about things that they've kept hidding for 50, 60, 70 years."

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