SANFORD, Fla. - Florida’s first all-women honor flight left for Washington D.C. early Tuesday morning.
"It’s always cool when you get with other vets. But these are all female vets. And you’ve got some that they came in when women weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms," said retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Heath Davenport. She spent 25 years in the Army, working her way up to lieutenant colonel.
But as a woman, she had to overcome a lot to prove herself. "So many people, you go and they say ‘oh was your husband in the military?’ No, it was me," said Davenport.
That’s why she’s so touched to fly to Washington D.C. on an honor flight this week. It’s the first all-female honor flight out of Florida. One hundred and nine female veterans and their provided guardians will go on a grand tour of D.C., including monuments, war memorials, and banquets.
The oldest woman is board is 97-years-old.
Heath is familiar with the city. She’s served two tours at the Pentagon, but for some others, "For some of these gals, it’s going to be fun to look around and see because some of them have never been to the Tomb of the Unknown. So to see them experience is going to be cool."
We asked if serving at the Pentagon was what she was most proud of. But she told us "I’d say probably the thing I’m most proud of is being Airborne. When I went, there were no women there, so it was really unusual, so I’m going to be wearing my Airborne hat."
The women took off for D.C. at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Usually, these honor flights are done in one day, but these female veterans raised the funds and will be spending the night in the Capitol before returning Wednesday night.