WWII veteran receives dying wish of Honor Flight - KCTV5

WWII veteran receives dying wish of Honor Flight

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The World War II veterans journey in the Marine Corps began in 1942. (KCTV5) The World War II veterans journey in the Marine Corps began in 1942. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A group of Honor Flight veterans is in Washington D.C. after an early flight out of Kansas City on Thursday.

This is the trip of a lifetime for the men and women who put their life on the line, but it’s even more special for one man who says making it to Washington is his dying wish.

As the doors open at Kansas City International Airport, veterans anticipate a busy day. and at 94-years-old, Ben Woodson is soaking in every moment.

The World War II veteran's journey in the United States Marine Corps began in 1942. At first, he used his skills as a bricklayer to help the troops, building training stations. But then he laid his eyes on a tank and his time driving began.

“It was enormous to me,” Woodson said.

Sadly, it led to a tragedy that Woodson carries with him to this day.

“I hit a landmine. There were five of us in the tank,” he said.

Woodson survived, but his fellow Marines passed away.

In 72 years, he’s never received his Purple Heart. In fact, he hasn’t received much recognition at all.

When the people from the Crossroads Hospice’s Gift of a Day program heard about Woodson, they stepped in to bring him to Washington to meet other veterans.

The goal of the group is to grant final wishes to terminally ill patients.

“We are so blessed and honored to be able to do this for our patients,” Gift of a Day coordinator Traci Burch said.

“I don’t think he slept at all last night,” Woodson’s niece, Connie Doran, said.

Doran says more than anything, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Woodson's wife recently passed away. They were married 71 years. His daughter says she’s so thankful that he gets to go not only on a trip he deserves but one he needs.

The Gift of a Day organization is working with local officials to try and track down the necessary paperwork for Woodson to receive his Purple Heart.

They hope to have it by Veteran’s Day.

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