Robert Burgess of Shullsburg recently returned from something he called a “once in a lifetime trip.” Burgess went on the Badger Honor Flight one day trip to Washington D.C. on Saturday, Oct. 18, accompanied by his daughter Kory Douglas of Darlington.
Burgess served during the Korean War, and actually first applied for the Badger Honor Flight trip around two years ago, and just recently was chosen.
The trip left from Dane County Airport in Madison early on Oct. 18 and traveled to the nation’s capital where the veterans and their guardians visited the many different memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery where they were able to witness the changing of the guard, which Burgess said he enjoyed the most out of the day.
Everywhere the group went there were always people to greet them, shake their hand and thank them for their service.
“They really make you feel like you are somebody,” said Burgess. “And a lot of veterans who came home from the wars never really got that back then.”
Burgess’ daughter Kory noted that it was simply amazing how they were treated. “There was always a bunch of people wherever we went and we had a police escort as soon as we got there.”
Then after a long day of sightseeing the group boarded the plane to head back home to Wisconsin. While on the plane the veterans were presented with mail from their families and friends. Burgess received 175 letters, many from children in his grandchildren’s classes at school.
When they finally arrived back in Madison, there were thousands of people waiting to greet the returning veterans and welcome them home. For Burgess alone, there were about 30 people from his family in the crowd.
“I would definitely urge anyone that’s eligible to try and go,” said Burgess.