SAN DIEGO - More than 90 World War II veterans arrived at Lindbergh Field early Friday morning for Honor Flight San Diego's fall trip.
"I'm so excited. I told the wife I was going to do this before I died, and we're doing that now," said David Carpenter, an Army veteran who joined other veterans for the trip back to Washington D.C.
Honor Flight was created as a way to get veterans of World War II back to the nation's capital to see the monument created in honor of their service and sacrifice.
The monument opened in 2005, and Honor Flight San Diego began chartered flights in 2011 and has tried to get as many veterans back to see it as possible.
"We are losing our World War II veterans at a national rate of 1,000 a day, so time is crucial. In fact, we had five or six on the list to go, but they passed away," said David Smith, one of the organization's co-founders.
The nonprofit operates solely on donations, picking up airfare, hotels, ground transportation and more at no cost to the veterans.
The most memorable moment may be their return home, as a huge welcome home reception at Lindbergh Field is planned for their return Sunday.
Find out more about Honor Flight San Diego by visiting http://honorflightsandiego.org.