11 Colorado Veterans go on honorary trip to D.C. as part of the ‘Voyage of Valor’ program
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Eleven Veterans in Colorado are on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Washington D.C. as part of a program called 'Wish of a Lifetime.'
The goal is to celebrate and honor these veterans who have protected and served our country.
As part of the four-day trip, the veterans will visit our nation's capital and see various monuments and memorials built to honor their service and sacrifice.
The 11 veterans come from various backgrounds and represent several wars and conflicts. Including World War II, Vietnam, and the Korean War eras. Collectively, the cumulative years of service span 131.5 years.
Kent Michaelsen is a U.S. Air Force Veteran who served in both the Vietnam and Gulf Wars. He served for 23 years in active duty and reserves combined. After 100 missions as a pilot in Vietnam, Kent was awarded the distinguished flying cross.
"I flew C47s, C123s, C130s, C5s," Michaelsen said. "All cargo transports."
Originally from New Hampshire, Kent settled in Colorado Springs because his kids moved here. But enjoys it for its large military presence and history, saying it feels like home.
"The Springs is very welcoming to anyone military because the presence there is so strong," Michaelsen said. "So we felt right at home right away."
Kent said he's mostly looking forward to seeing the air force museum in Dulles and the Changing of the Guard at Arlington.
"I've spent a lot of time downtown at the Smithsonian, Smithsonian Aviation, and the memorials there," Michaelsen said. "But never got out to Dulles or Arlington."
The mission of the organization that organizes the trip, Wish of a Lifetime, is to shift the way society views and values elder generations by fulfilling older adults’ dreams and sharing their stories to inspire those of all ages.
If you're a veteran or if you know one who might be interested, visit the 'Wish of a Lifetime' website to submit an application.