On Friday, 135 members of the South Willamette Valley Honor Flight left for a weekend in Washington D.C.
Among them are veterans spanning service in WWII to the Vietnam War.
Organizers say these Honor Flights are a way to recognize local veterans and show appreciation for their service.
Edmund Bock, the group's Executive Director, has been on as many as 16 Honor Flights. His first flight was with his dad, who was a WWII Marine and also served in Korea.
He says these trips are just as emotional as they are commemorative.
For some of them, within a few months, they pass. At least they know they’ve been honored and thanked, their country appreciates them and loves them for what they did," Bock said.
The U.S. Coast Guard and National Guard were there to lend a hand as veterans boarded their flights. They helped load luggage and unpack wheelchairs.
Brenden Otjen with U.S. Coast Guard says he likes to bring in younger service members, so they can be reminded of those who came before them.
This is probably one of the biggest teams I’ve ever seen, in 10 years of doing this, with 60 veterans and 60 guardians so this is a really big deal," said Otjen.
The group will visit at least 11 memorials throughout the weekend and participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary.
They say it's a special moment for these veterans.
“We have to tell them it’s okay for grown men to cry, especially when they’re at the wall or whatever, but some of it is just letting the emotion out that they’ve bottled up for 50 years and let it go," said Bock.
The group will be back Sunday night. There are Honor Flight organizations across the United State. For more information, click here.