Gettysburg Air Force Veteran Gene King was among the 83 U.S. military veterans to make the whirlwind trip to Washington, DC as part of the Mission 14 Midwest Honor Flight last month. The group left from Sioux Falls on May 16 at 5:30 a.m. and King said the veter- ans were welcomed everywhere they went. They were welcomed to the city with a water cannon salute. They visited The Vietnam Wall, toured military monuments and memorials, and also witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The trip took place in one day, and he was able to share the experience with his son Dusty (pictured with him above on the left) who lives in Chamberlain and came along as a guardian. King, who served in Vietnam from 1971-72, said that the entire trip was outstanding. “It well exceeded any expectations on what they would do for us. It was an outstanding day,” he said. “They took great care of us.” He said that they were welcomed and thanked for their service everywhere they went, which was completely different from his return from Vietnam. When they returned to Sioux Falls, they were welcomed by American Legion bikers, a police escort, family and friends. He said that he was fortunate to be able to go on this trip; it can sometimes take years after being accepted for the Honor Flight before the actual trip can be made, but due to health issues he was allowed to go sooner. King is battling cancer from exposure to Agent Orange, and although he is taking medications, more extreme treatments are not recommended. “I have no regrets. I’ve lived a good life — and I would serve again,” said the 72 year old veteran, who added that he would encourage all veterans to apply for the Honor Flight experience. The day shows sincere appreciation for veterans, and since 2017, over 1,000 veterans have been part of the Midwest Honor Flight.