It was a welcome back they all will remember as six Boonville war veterans came back Monday night after a life-changing Honor Flight.
More than 1,900 area veterans have successfully taken the Central Missouri Honor Flight to Washington D.C. to see the war memorials. First priority has been given to World War II veterans because of their age. Other veterans from the Korean War and Vietnam Wars have also gone.

It was a welcome back they all will remember as six Boonville war veterans came back Monday night after a life-changing Honor Flight.
More than 1,900 area veterans have successfully taken the Central Missouri Honor Flight to Washington D.C. to see the war memorials. First priority has been given to World War II veterans because of their age. Other veterans from the Korean War and Vietnam Wars have also gone.
As Honor Flight number 32 arrived in Columbia, the more than 70 veterans were greeted by hundreds of friends and loved ones in addition to an escort by the Patriot Guard. As each veteran got out of the bus at the Courtyard Hotel, they were escorted by cadets of the Missouri Highway Patrol or members of the Honor Guard. Each veteran was introduced with their service credentials.
Margaret Hankewich, the only female to be on the flight, is a 94 year old Boonville resident who served as a nurse in World War II. She served in the Phillippines. She was the first Boonville resident to get off the bus.
"It was a great day. It made me proud. The fact that everyone is so appreciative. People you don't know come up and say thank you," Hankewich said.
Veteran Don Jenry said he enjoyed the Honor Flight very much. He also spoke of the young children that greeted the veterans at the memorial.
"It was kind of overwhelming. It went from not being recognized coming home to now having a reception any veteran would deeply appreciate," Boonville resident and veteran Ronnie Hodges said.
William Smith, who was a helicopter pilot, said it was one of the most unbelievable things he has seen in his life.
The Kempf brothers, Bob and Larry, were thankful of the treatment they received.
As each veteran came off the bus, the tiredness and overwhelmingness of the day turned into joy as bagpipes played and people cheered.
Currently, there is a large waiting list to go on the flight, which leaves St. Louis's Lambert International early in a morning and arrives later that evening. The hope is to have everything completed in one day.
Once the busses pass Kingdom City on their way home, they are then escorted by the Patriot Guard and the Missouri State Highway Patrol who closes the interstate for their arrival.