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9NEWS stories from Rocky Mountain Honor Flight

Honor Flight celebrates veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C., to see memorials celebrating their service.

DENVER — Rocky Mountain Honor Flight is a tribute to veterans, flying them to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials that celebrate their service.

On Thursday, 9NEWS will host a telethon to raise money to send more of Colorado's veterans on this trip of a lifetime.

Rocky Mountain Honor Flight is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and receives no government funding. Honor Flight funding comes from private donations. The 40th and 41st Honor Flights are planned for September and October.

The 9NEWS telethon to support Rocky Mountain Honor Flight will take place from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7.

> Video above: Colorado veterans who went on a 2017 Rocky Mountain Honor Flight tell their stories and what Honor Flight means to them.

Below are stories that 9NEWS has aired over the years on Rocky Mountain Honor Flight.

RELATED: 9NEWS to hold telethon for Rocky Mountain Honor Flight

> Donate online now: Rocky Mountain Honor Flight

Credit: KUSA

2015 Honor Flight

In 2015, 9NEWS traveled to Washington, D.C., and met dozens of Colorado veterans who were kind enough to experience the trip through our lens.

There's the bus driver, who does it for nothing, but still gets paid.

We profiled the journey from beginning to end, in what the veterans on that plane called, "The experience of a lifetime."

A veteran of the Korean War reflected on his time in service, and the sacrifice of others, as he visited the Korean War Memorial.

"There were Black nurses before myself, but not many," said Korean War veteran Martha Baker.

"Mail Call" was always a welcome time in the service. On their way home, veterans were treated to another batch of letters, bringing tears to many of their eyes.

Finally, veterans spoke in their own words about what an Honor Flight opportunity means to them.

A love story

In 2017, we talked to Betty McClure about the love story with her husband Mac, a World War II veteran.

We also chatted with Mac McClure after his return from his Honor Flight. His wife Betty predicted he'd talk up a storm, and she was right.

Mac and Betty were temporarily separated for the third time in their 70-plus years together when Betty died in January 2018.

The separation lasted four years, until Mac died in January and was buried beside his wife at Fort Logan.

An incredible welcome home

Watching an honor flight return to DIA: An incredible welcome home, filled with gratitude for Les and all who served.

RELATED: Honor Flight Northern Colorado took off for one last time Sunday

RELATED: 'I just knew I had to go'; stories from Colorado veterans

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