Veterans on their way to our nation's capital

More than 60 veterans from World War II and the Korean conflict went to Washington D.C. Tuesday to take part in another Central Missouri Honor Flight.

"Iâ??m going to Washington D.C.," veteran Stanley Bulas said.

Bulas is one of 62 veterans headed to the nation's capital on Central Missouriâ??s 18th Honor Flight.

For many, this will be their first visit to D.C.

"How old am I? In 3 weeks, Iâ??ll be 101," veteran Oscar Ulrich said.

And for others, like Oscar Ulrich, it's a return trip that's long overdue.

"Well, Iâ??ve been to Washington D.C. Before, but there weren't any monuments,â?? Ulrich said. â??I had a model "A" Ford. I've still got it. I've owned it for 82 years and I drove it right down Pennsylvania Avenue and around the capitol back then."

For each one of these heroes, the reasons for taking the whirlwind trip differ.

"Iâ??ve never been there and Iâ??ve got a grandson that's a lieutenant in the air force, and he's supposed to meet me there," veteran Courtney Robert said.

"Iâ??m physically able and fit to do it, so why not," Ulrich said.

â??For some of them, it's really bittersweet,â?? Central Missouri Honor Flight president Mary Paulsell said. "They do appreciate the recognition but in their minds, they're going on behalf of their brothers and sisters who weren't able to make it back."

And that's exactly why Stanley Bulas is going.

"Iâ??ve got a brother who died,â?? Bulas said. â??I wanna see if I can find his name on the memorial.â??

After breakfast the veterans loaded their buses one by one and soon they were off for a trip of a lifetime.

"I have no idea what Iâ??m in for really," Bulas said.

For these American heroes, it's more than a trip to see a monument. It's an opportunity to be with other veterans who share a brotherhood and an understanding of events that took place long ago in a way few of us can.

You can welcome the honor flight veterans by going to the Marriott Courtyard in Columbia late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.

The group is scheduled to arrive back in Columbia around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Paulsell suggests bringing a friend ...and a flag.