top of page

Go back:   Press Releases  |  Mynd in the News  |  Archive


100 veterans aboard first Triad Honor Flight of 2024 receive warm welcome home in Greensboro


Kenny Beck


Wednesday flight marks the sixth since a new group restarted the program in 2021

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Our heroes are home, and their mission is complete.

Wednesday night at Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, 100 local veterans returned after a busy day seeing patriotic memorials in and just outside of the nation's capital dedicated to their service. Waiting for them in the concourse — a raucous crowd waiving American flags, holding signs, cheering their safe return, and showing earnest appreciation for their service, even if it occurred before some of them were born.

On board this flight, the sixth one overall since Triad Honor Flight renewed the program in late 2021, were husband-and-wife Korean War vets Richard and Bertie Smith of Lexington.

"Well, I think the whole day was really interesting. Everything was so good today I just had a wonderful day, unforgettable," she said.

The eldest person on this flight was World War II vet Vernon Cooper, who turned 100 in late March.

"Being a part of this group was absolutely fantastic, and I couldn't have beat it anyway. I enjoyed it so much, and I'll never forget it," Cooper said.

Veterans and their guardians weren't the only ones on the plane. Paul DeHondt and Jessica Benson, who work for the virtual reality company Mynd Immersive, were also aboard. They were invited along to film the entire day so they can create an Honor Flight experience for veterans with mobility issues.

"It's going to be great, and they're looking forward to it also because when they hear that we're going to do this so that other veterans who aren't mobile and can't get on the flight anymore and they know that now they're gonna get to experience it, it's pretty exciting," Benson said.

The day started at the World War II Memorial and also included stops at the Korean, Vietnam, and Lincoln memorials, among others. Their tour ended at Arlington National Cemetery with a changing of the guard and a wreath-laying, followed by a quick flight home.

"I feel like a million dollars. I would not switch this day for anything in the world. It was the absolute best day in my life," said Air Force Vietnam veteran Donald Burton.

Triad Honor Flight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The final flight of 2024 is scheduled for Oct. 2. The entire day is free for the veterans, but each flight costs more than $100,000 to execute.

To learn more about when and how to view Mynd Immersive's VR Honor Flight experience, you can call them at 1-800-756-2687 or reach out to them through their website.


bottom of page