Special honor flight held for local veteran - KCTV5 News

Special honor flight held for local veteran

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Family, friends, and even strangers arrived at the Kansas City International Airport to welcome veteran Edward Pridgen, who said he wasn’t expecting an honor flight and a warm welcome.

People at one gate of the airport beamed with honor and pride as they welcomed home Pridgen.

His top cheerleader and wife of 47 years was left speechless by all the love.

“All of these people that showed up that do not know my husband,” said Judy Pridgen. “This was a tremendous help.”

The special honor flight for Pridgen was granted after he was diagnosed with cancer and was told he had only a few months left to live.

His wife said it has been a year of hard news.

“Tremendous amount going on,” she said. “He was diagnosed and he’s had radiation. He can’t eat right now, hardly. There’s just a lot going on.”

Pridgen was welcomed by presents and flowers, giving him and his family a break from the all the doctor's appointments and medical exams.

His daughter and granddaughter, Madison Taranto and Jolene Taranto, got to join him on the flight and that made the trip extra special. They said they saw a side of him they’ve never seen before.

“One of the most touching things was for me to see him at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” she said. “He was so taken aback by it. He doesn’t have any hair and he removed his hat, which is very weird for him. It was very touching for him, and he removed his hat in honor.”

The honor flights usually take place in the fall. 

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