Four Brothers Look Forward to Honor Flight Together

Published: Sep. 10, 2019 at 2:11 PM CDT
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Emotions are running high for four brothers, all from the Berlin, Wisconsin area, set to make history tomorrow on an Old Glory Honor Flight.

"It's amazing how you get choked up about something like this, it don't make sense, but it does," says Al Youngbauer, a U.S. Army Veteran.

During the 51 prior missions flown by Old Glory Honor Flight, and the thousands of veterans that have traveled, never before have four brothers taken part.

They range in age from 74 to 67, and grew up in a home where serving your country was a family tradition.

"Our father, and a lot of our uncles and it was just something that needed to be done and I volunteered to do it," says Paul Youngbauer, a U.S. Army Veteran.

"Never gave it a thought, but I just kind of always wondered what my mother went through," adds Al Youngbauer.

Oldest brother Joe served first, in Vietnam.

"I was hoping they didn't have to do what I did because it wasn't pretty," recalls Joe Youngbauer, a U.S. Army Veteran.

Next in line was Dave, who flew dangerous combat missions over Vietnam.

"Guess when you're young and you're there to do a job you don't really think about that, you think you're invincible and you don't think about that," says David Youngbauer, a U.S. Air Force Veteran.

Brothers Paul and Al then followed and trained for Vietnam, but never had to go.

But it was there service that formed a bond that's grown over the years.

"Family of seven kids in the household, everything always didn't go rosy, but as we grew older we grew closer, so this is going to be a big day tomorrow," says Paul Youngbauer.

Because of their difference in age, the Youngbauers found themselves in different places on the Old Glory Honor Flight waiting list.

But after working with Old Glory staff, and Joe delaying his chance to go, it was arranged for them all to fly together, tomorrow.

"It's something that we've got a great honor here to be a part of," says Paul Youngbauer, voicing cracking.

"It's probably one of the greatest experiences that we've ever shared," says Joe Youngbauer, fighting back tears.

"The greeting we got when we came home in that era was not good, I've been to a couple honor flight returns, it's amazing, just amazing, people that are there, the celebration, can't believe it, I'm looking forward to it," adds Al Youngbauer, smiling through his tears.

The Youngbauers says more than 50 family members will be on hand to welcome them home tomorrow night in Appleton.