Honor Flight Arizona takes vets on 82nd trip

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - "I'm just excited to see a lot of happy people," Dayle Thomas said. "There are so many happy people here."

Sometimes, it just takes a smile to make someone's day. Today, that someone is Dayle Thomas, who's one of dozens of World War II and Korea War veterans on today's honor flight to the nation's capital.

"We've been in existence in AZ for nine years," Karen Friddle said. "We're part of [a] national organization that, since 2004, has taken over 200,000 vets to Washington, D.C."

Friddle with Honor Flight Arizona says no matter how many times she takes part, each trip is uniquely special.

"It's overwhelming and [as] a bystander, I've done this for six years and every single time I see their reaction makes me cry," she said.

Friddle adds that just a simple gesture like a smile, handshake or a thank you along the way means the world.

"They love it when kids come up to them and shake their hands and thank them for their service," she said. "People in the airport will announce it and people will stand up and cheer and clap and it's overwhelming for these men."

Even though the trip is designed to express appreciation for their service and sacrifice, may like Dayle remain humble and grateful for the opportunity.

"They're all here for a serious purpose, Army, Navy, Marines... but we all have something in common and I'm so proud that I was able to serve," Thomas said.