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Honor Flight plans first all female veterans’ trip to DC

U.S. Army veteran James Clemenson of Vergas, Minnesota, and his wife Rosie make a rubbing from a name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial the day after Veterans Day, November 12, 2012 in Washington, DC. This week, Utah is sending its first all-female Honor Flight to our nation's capital. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — This week, the Honor Flight organization is doing something that has never happened before: an entire flight to Washington, D.C. will be filled with women veterans who served in either Korea or Vietnam.

Women veterans from the Vietnam and Korean Wars have been invited on an Honor Flight before, but they had all previously declined, saying they didn’t feel like they’d fit in with the men and would be more comfortable if there was a special flight for women vets.

Honor Flight Chairperson Stephanie Harmon says a lot of women had been asking about this kind of flight. Coincidentally, one of the soldiers in the organization’s first Vietnam Veterans’ flight had asked whether it was a possibility. Harmon says that man, Vernon Denman, volunteered to pay $30,000 to make the all-female flight a reality.

When the women veterans return home from this Honor Flight trip, Harmon says there will be a heroines’ welcome Saturday night for anyone who wants to attend, at the National Guard Readiness Center in Salt Lake City.

Harmon says each of the 23 vets will be paired up with either an active servicewoman from the National Guard or a woman who is retired from the military.