SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Eighty-four area veterans returned to Sioux Falls last weekend from a day of touring memorials in the Washington, D.C. area to find that their Midwest Honor Flight experience was not over.

After veterans, guardians and Midwest Honor Flight crew toured D.C. and northern Virginia, it was time to head back to Sioux Falls, where they were welcomed with bagpipes and handshakes.

Veterans and guardians then headed to the Sioux Falls Arena, where family and friends were waiting to surprise them with applause and cheers.

“For all of us, we’ve waited all day. In fact, we waited for weeks because we knew about it, but he didn’t know that we knew. It’s just a really great thing that they do this for the veterans,” Kenneth Klein’s sister Lois Ries said.

For some veterans, this is a welcome-home celebration they never received.

“I remember when I came home from Vietnam, my wife, fiancée at the time, and my parents met me, and so this was unbelievable,” Vietnam veteran Kenneth Klein said.

It’s a day these veterans and guardians will not soon forget.

“It was pretty amazing, pretty amazing,” Klein said.

“The whole day has been unreal,” Vietnam veteran Treacel Bennett Jr. said.

“It was such a special day and I got to spend it with my grandpa. Something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” grandson and guardian Brady Bennett said.

Midwest Honor Flight’s next mission is scheduled for two weeks from Saturday on October 1st.