Twenty-seven World War II veterans will experience the trip of a lifetime on Monday through Thursday as they embark on Brookshire Grocery Co.'s ninth Heroes Flight to Washington, D.C. Some 20 BGC employees, media and community volunteers will accompany the veterans as guardians.

This all-expenses-paid trip, sponsored by BGC, will take the group of veterans from "The Greatest Generation" to visit several sites including the World War II Memorial, Washington Monument, Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, and the Air and Space Museum. In addition, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) will lead the group on a tour of the U.S. Capitol. Other points of interest will include the U.S. Marines, Navy, Air Force, Lincoln, Vietnam, Korean, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. memorials.

Since establishing the Heroes Flight program in 2010, BGC has escorted more than 250 World War II veterans to Washington D.C. These trips are designed to honor the veterans for their service and sacrifices and also allow them to see the World War II Memorial, which opened in 2004.

Veterans participating in the trip are from towns throughout East Texas, including Tyler, Longview, Palestine, Winona, Blooming Grove, Kemp, Flint, Arp, Grand Saline, Hideaway and Big Sandy. A veteran from Ruston, La., also will be participating.

"Without the Heroes Flight program, many of these World War II veterans would not have the opportunity to see the memorial built in their honor," said Rick Rayford, BGC president and CEO. "Brookshire Grocery Co. is honored to provide these trips for these men and women who sacrificed so much to preserve our freedoms."

The group will depart at 11 a.m. Monday from FRESH by Brookshire's, at 6991 Old Jacksonville Highway in Tyler. Community members who would like to attend the send-off are encouraged to gather around the main store entry about 10:15 a.m.

The public also is invited to the "welcome home" celebration, which will take place at FRESH about 4:45 p.m. on Thursday.

World War II and Korean War veterans from the Brookshire's market area who are interested in applying for possible future trips are encouraged to call Carolyn Langston at 903-534-3076 to request an application.

Recommended for you