ARLINGTON, Va. (WAOW) — While many strangers lined up outside of gate seven at Reagan National Airport Monday morning, one veteran happened to see some he knows very well.
“It’s just been a dream to be able to come and see him and welcome him home to the nation’s capital for his service,” Deon Viergutz, son of Wayne Viergutz, said.
Deon and his wife were front and center, ready for a welcome home hug, as Wayne made his way into the airport.
Wayne Viergutz is a Vietnam veteran who served in Germany. He explained that his welcome home back then was much different than the ones he got on Monday.
“We got off the ship and we went out and we were pretty much on our own to find our own way home, and there was nobody there to welcome us. Even when we got back home into Wausau, there was nobody other than our parents,” Wayne said. “Not like it is today.”
Fast forward nearly five decades, and he finally got the welcome home he longed for, tearing up as his son embraced him with a hug.
“It was just unbelievable, I love my son,” Wayne said.
Wayne’s daughter was also there, serving as his guardian for the flight.
It was a day that will never be forgotten and an experience that, veterans like Wayne said, is necessary.