DETROIT (FOX 2) - With red lipstick peppered around his cheeks and a glassy reflection in his eyes, any attempt by Richard McLaughlin to conceal an emotional response was in vain.
"It really gets you by the..." he said. "Tears come to your eyes."
While some cried, others were filled with mirth as they took part in the latest veteran sendoff that honored soldiers who fought during World War II.
"It's such a warm welcome for guys, and some guys have not been in a crowd before where World War II veterans have been welcomed," said Arthur Fishman. "It's an amazing experience."
McLaughlin and Fishman were among 30 veterans that were dropped off at the Detroit Metro Airport Wednesday afternoon. While their service is long over, another mission was laid before them: Board a plane and visit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
While not the toughest objective the men have faced, they did have a swarm of people to maneuver before reaching their plane.
"It's very exhilarating, it's making me feel wonderful," said Charles Chartiel, another veteran.
The Gary Sinise Foundation worked with the museum and American Airlines to put together the event. Its ambassador and actor D.B. Sweeney was also in attendance.
"But when you come out here with these veterans and you see what they've done, and you're able to come out and just be a small part in thanking them," Sweeney said. "It is a great honor and I'm very humbled to be a part of it."
Certainly some of the men boarding the planes felt honored too.
"I feel young, I feel like I'm back 18 and ready to sign up again," said another man.