Veterans return home

Veterans from the Red River Valley returned just before 9 p.m. from a busy three-day trip to the nation’s capital.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Veterans from the Red River Valley were given a heroes welcome at Hector International Airport Tuesday night. They returned just before 9 p.m. from a busy three-day trip to the nation’s capital.

The flight was nearly three hours long, and the veterans had a little time to rest. Once on the ground in Fargo, their hearts were jumping again, as they heard applause, listened to a band play and saw loved ones cheering their return.

“Just about crying, really nice. Really nice,” John Rakowski of Grand Forks said. “It means that American people are American people. They stand together for us veterans and I’m happy.”

Many veterans on the trip said the monuments and the memorials, the banquets and the moving programs that they experienced were top notch, but that the return was icing on the cake.

“All these people helping, it’s just amazing. The volunteers that they have, they do such a good job,” William Leier of Valley City said. “It’s hard to describe, really.”

There were so many people, signs, even North Dakota U.S. Senator John Hoeven was there and shook every the hand of every returning veteran.

“When you’re here and you see all their friends and family, people from the community coming out and saying thank you for defending our country, boy it hits home,” Sen. John Hoeven said. “These guys are the best. We love them.”

During three days, they made 12 separate stops, drove past the White House and Capital Building several times, dodged rain and brought everyone home safely. Tuesday night was a pretty good way to end a once in a lifetime trip.

This trip makes three in the area, just this year.