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Old Glory Honor Flight heads to NYC as Manitowoc vets focused on 'healing power' of the trip

Posted at 7:22 AM, Sep 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-30 08:32:06-04
  • Old Glory Honor Flight started a new tour honoring veterans from the war on terror. The first flight took off for New York City on Thursday.
  • Six of the veterans are from Manitowoc, including Dean Koenig and Nancy Rivera. The two say that the trip means a lot to global war on terror veterans.
  • The flight returns on Sunday and Old Glory encourages everyone to come and welcome the veterans home.

A new Old Glory Honor Flight took off for New York City on Thursday with several veterans from the lakeshore. The Freedom to Liberty Tour honors 59 veterans this weekend, many of which fought in the Global War on Terror, as they tour New York and visit the 9/11 Memorial.

Dean Koenig and Nancy Rivera are two of six veterans form the Manitowoc area on the trip.

"Dean served in Iraq and then I served in Afghanistan", Rivera said.

The tour is designed for global war on terrorism veterans, also called GWOT veterans. They are spending the day at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City.

Dean says the trip means a lot to GWOT veterans who are the next generation of veteran service members.

"It kind of defines why you were sent to where you were sent to emphasize what it was all about," said Koenig. "The people that were here, they thank us for our service because we picked up the mission after they were done on 9/11... There's a lot of us out there who could really benefit from the healing power of this trip."

Nancy says the veterans have heard stories from 9/11 survivors, learned more about the tragic event, and explored the city.

This weekend, the participants will meet a Medal of Honor recipient, go to the 9/11 Memorial, and will attend a VIP dinner. She emphasized how honored she was to be chosen to make the trip.

"It is indeed an honor to represent Manitowoc County, GWOT veterans from the area and thank you very much," Koenig said.

The Freedom to Liberty Tour will fly back into Appleton on Sunday and land around 12:10 P.M. Upon the return to the airport, Old Glory says everyone is always encouraged to come and welcome the veterans back home.