SPOKANE, Wash. -A few weeks ago, veterans returning to Spokane from an Honor Flight trip were given a hero's welcome. It was a welcome some veterans, like Bill Carlton, never got.
"When I got home from Vietnam, I was living in California. I got off the LA airport and had 12 big loogies hanging off me from walking through the terminal," Carlton said. "To come home and get a thank you from people like that meant the world to me."
In the crowd was a first grader named Emma, handing out thank you cards she and her classmates made.
"It was amazing to see all these guys coming back. It was so cool. I met every single one," Emma said.
Including Bill. He said getting a card made him feel proud. Which is why he came to McDonald Elementary to surprise Emma and her classmates with flowers and flags.
The card he got from Emma's classmate Natalie moved him so much, he had to say thank you in person.
The reason is simple.
"Because it needs to be done. That's the only reason. It needs to be done," Bill said.
It's the same reason Emma and her class wanted to give veterans those thank you cards.
"Because they have done a lot of things for us and we should do some things for them."
It needed to be done.