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Veterans Participate In First-Ever All-Female Honor Flight

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The ceremony that you are about to witness is an Army wreath laying ceremony.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Today at Arlington National Cemetery, more than 140 veterans, all women, wearing pink shirts, gathered at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

They traveled from Cincinnati this morning with the Honor Flight Network. The nonprofit flies vets here to D.C. to visit the memorials that were built in their honor. Today's was the first ever all female honor flight.

BEVERLY RENO: I never, ever, ever in my wildest dreams ever thought that women of the military would be honored like this.

SHAPIRO: Beverly Reno was just 20 years old when she enlisted in the Army as a nurse in 1959.

RENO: I came from a very, very small town in North Dakota and I wanted to see the world. I was going to be an airline attendant, a stewardess. And so I - you had to be a nurse, so I went to nursing school. When I got out of nursing school, I went to apply and they said I was too short, so I couldn't do that, so I joined the Army.

MCEVERS: Another vet, Pat Morgenroth, was also an Army nurse. She served during Vietnam.

PAT MORGENROTH: Kept you on your toes. We had a lot of different kind of cases. We saw a lot of the fellows that came back with amputations. They were very young fellows. I was a young nurse at the time - 21 - and so it was heartbreaking in a lot of cases.

SHAPIRO: Morgenroth said landing at the airport on her honor flight and seeing the reception, she had tears in her eyes.

MORGENROTH: Feeling that you've been appreciated for what you've done and didn't have that feeling before. I think people realize that what we did we did for our country and we were proud to do it.

SHAPIRO: After the ceremony, there were visits to the Women iIn Military Service For America Memorial, then the World War II Memorial.

MCEVERS: The trip to D.C. is scheduled to last just a day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.