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Veteran in hospice care returns from successful Honor Flight

Jerry Cole's health almost stopped him from going
Posted at 11:18 PM, Sep 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 14:53:28-04

An 80-year-old veteran in hospice care completed an honor flight Saturday, something he never thought he’d get to do. 

Jerry Cole has served a combined 26 years in the military. His family tried to get him on a flight with the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight program in October, but his health began failing. 

Then they learned only a week ago that a spot had opened up on the flight scheduled for September 15. His family worked quickly with the program to get him on board

Cole, along with about 150 other veterans from three different wars were welcomed home Saturday evening by a parade of people. 

Cole said he could hardly see through his tears. He also said he was very thankful for the opportunity to see the memorials in D.C. 

“Words can’t explain it, you have to see everything live,” said Cole. “It’s beautiful. I didn’t think I’d ever see that in a million years. I’m glad I went.” 

His family says this is likely the last trip he will ever take.

“It was amazing, we’re just so humbled and so thankful for everyone that made this possible and for all the veterans we were able to experience the opportunity with,” said Cole’s daughter Leigh Anne Spears. 

He said his favorite moment from the trip was the Changing of the Guards at Arlington National Cemetery.

He also added that he hopes every veteran gets a chance to experience an honor flight.