Despite the threat of severe storms, HonorAir flight 23 returned home safely and on time Wednesday night to a large crowd of cheering supporters at McGhee Tyson Airport.
The group of 134 veterans enjoyed a whirlwind day touring the monuments in Washington D.C. that were built in their honor. The group left Knoxville early Wednesday morning are arrived back shortly after 8 p.m.
Music, signs and red, white and blue filled the McGhee Tyson terminal when the veterans arrived home.
"I could not believe that. I can't believe the people," said Harold Wentworth, a Korean War veteran. "All the people are so friendly and so kind, and everybody wants to thank you for your service to this country and it means a lot to us."
Harold and his son Bruce made the trip with the other veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War eras.
The veterans visited Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and several war memorials before returning to East Tennessee.
"It brought back memories, but it brought back feelings that I was lucky to come out of that," Wentworth said.