Vets fly to Washington DC on Collier County Honor Flight

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Seventy veterans got the chance of a lifetime to be a part of the final Collier County Honor Flight of the year.

The veterans took off on the “Lucky Sevens” flight from Southwest Florida International Airport at 7 a.m. on Nov. 7, 70 years after V-E Day.

“I have memories all the time,” said Gladys Kinsler, a World War II veteran.

Kinsler and a fellow comrade were bestowed the honor of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery.

“I can’t, because I still get emotional, my eyes are watering but it’s hard to talk,” said Kinsler. “It was nice being there and doing that, which I didn’t know I was going to be able to do it.”

The veterans enjoyed the visit without letting a bit of rain stop them, knowing it was a day they would not soon forget.

“I  think they were Girl Scouts with their family,” said World War II veteran David Keane, “and they were out front to greet us and shake their hand. It was great.”

Back in Southwest Florida, the veterans received a celebrity-like experience as crowds gathered to welcome the heroes home.

For more information on the Collier County Honor Flight, visit


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