Students prepare gift bags for Honor Flight

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The Greater Peoria Honor Flight takes off Tuesday, April 30th, for a one-day whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C.

Dozens of Peoria-area veterans are making the trip.

As we get ready for Operation: Homecoming, students at Robein School in East Peoria are, too.

They spent several hours Friday packing pre-flight goodie bags for local vets who are making the trip. The bags include hats, shirts, and other surprises for them to use throughout the day at the nation’s capitol.

But it’s the welcome home party at the end of the day that Honor Flight organizers say is the most important.

Veterans return to the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport around 10:00 PM Tuesday, and we at HOI ABC want to make sure they return to a packed house.

“It’s one of the most patriotic experiences you can have as an American,” Phyllis Piraino says.

Piraino is the Vice President of the Greater Peoria Honor Flight, and she is encouraging parents to bring their kids.

“This is the last generation of children that can shake the hand of a WWII veteran and thank them for their service,” she says, “So we feel it’s very important to be a part of history, and bring your kids to the airport.”

The plane is expected to land around 10:00 PM Tuesday, but if you’re coming to PIA for Operation: Homecoming, make sure you arrive by 9:30 PM.

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