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Northeast Oklahoma Veterans Freedom Tour takes off on 4-day trip to D.C.

Northeast Oklahoma Veteran Freedom Tour
Northeast Oklahoma Veteran Freedom Tour
Posted at 11:53 AM, Sep 27, 2022

TULSA, Okla — A group of Oklahoma veterans headed to Washington D.C. on the Northeast Oklahoma Veterans Freedom Tour flight Tuesday morning.

60 veterans, their family members and staff boarded a Southwest airplane to spend four days and three nights visiting the memorials dedicated in honor of those who fought for our freedoms.

The Northeast Oklahoma Veterans Freedom Tour flight is carrying veterans from 27 years old to 76. They include veterans of World War II, Vietnam, the Korean War, the Gulf War, and Afghanistan.

2 News spoke to one veteran who served in the Army from 1967 to 1976. He says he worked in Washington D.C. for most of those 9 years and met his wife there so he is excited to go back and take his wife with him.

“To see how much Washington D.C. has changed since we were last there,” Army Veteran Donald Gustafson said.

They’ll visit the memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, and Fort McHenry. Previous trips were taken in a day but with a longer 4-day trip, Vice President Zac Doyle says this allows the veterans to really take things in.

“It’s an emotional, powerful thing to let them do it at their speed and to know that they took the time out of their life to give us this country and we are going to give them the time that they need to take it all in," Doyle said. "We found that it's much more enjoyable, it's healthier, their happier when we can take our time and it sets us apart.”

He says the locally organized trip also allows them to add other sites if the group finds something else they’d like to see.

“This trip allows these veterans healing. It allows us to create a community of veterans that bond and become family and you know it's good," Doyle said. "It just need to happen. They need to have the opportunity to go and see the memorials that stand for the things that they fought for.”

Doyle says he’s involved with these trips because he believes it helps veterans in the healing process. The trip is free for the veterans. The Northeast Oklahoma Veterans Freedom Tour returns to Oklahoma Friday night.

The next trip is tentatively set for next September.


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