Veterans moved to tears by surprise welcome home

Published: May. 2, 2023 at 8:29 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Of all the special moments on this year’s Western North Dakota Honor Flight, coming home may have been one of the best.

Family, friends and total strangers packed the Bismarck Airport as the 99 veterans got off the plane.

The Century High School band played patriotic songs, local and state officials lined up to shake their hands and American flags waved.

There were so many people that we’re told cars stretched all the way off airport grounds to Airport Road.

The veterans had just finished a trip that made them feel appreciated every step of the way. When they got back home, they say the feeling was overwhelming.

“I never expected anything like this. This is too much,” Peter Deichert, U.S. Army, said with his one-year-old grandson in his arms. “I thought that my wife was coming to pick me up and here we have my grandson here, my son and wife and just packed with people. I don’t know if they do this all the time, but I did not expect anything like it.”

Before the veterans got off the plane, each received a packet of mail, filled with letters written to them by their families and other school children. The heartwarming notes brought some to tears.

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