Preparations are underway to get local veterans to their memorials in Washington D-C. TAKE VO LA CROSSE The first of two annual Honor Flights takes off tomorrow morning from the airport. Tomorrow’s flight marks the 19-th to take local veterans to see memorials built in their honor. Freedom Honor Flight’s president says the continued flights are only possible because of the support from our community. It says a lot about the community and we hear from a lot of people how well Western Wisconsin in particular loves and treats their veterans. It’s a little different in other parts of the country. About 90 veterans will be going on the Freedom Honor Flight tomorrow. TAKE INTERSTITIAL News Eight’s Madalyn O’Neill spoke with one of the local veterans today who will be taking the trip. Lisa and Cory … 83 year old Bernie Waite is an army veteran living near Sparta with his wife. He served for over twenty years . and his been all around the world . including two tours in Vietnam. Today he shared his story with me. TAKE PAC VIETNAM VETERAN The military was good to me. Army veteran Bernie Waite’s house just screams red, white and blue. I went in in 1953 and retired in july 1974. But wait until you get inside. NAT: if you’ve ever been in a jungle you’re about to be. That would have been some time in 1953. And once you get Waite talking … I was stationed at fort Raleigh, Kansas. He has no shortage of stories. Here’s a picture of Mamie and the president. Washington . Hawaii . Thailand . and Vietnam… It was long and hard but that’s the army, slow and hard. Are just a few of the places the U.S. military took Waite. This is when I was an ROTC instructor in chicago . probably 1963. As a high school ROTC instructor . Waite touched the lives of students. they like you so much . so did we. He keeps a poem his students wrote for him… this isn’t very good but it’s the best we could do to tell you how much we appreciate you. It’s his students. and the kids impacted by war . There’s always gotta be kids involved in some way or another. he keeps close to his heart. I saw more little kids in that place than you can believe. He recalls children from an orphanage in Vietnam … Where did they go? it bothers me. And the kids who lost their fathers too soon to war. That’s why my wife and I are both in love with our kids. especially our grandkids, right ma? It’s one of Bernie’s grandkids … this is for heather who will be taking care of Grandpa on the Freedom Honor Flight. That’s why she’s going that’s what she said . that’s all right.