When a Lexington WWII vet couldn't fly, Honor Flight Kentucky brought the trip to him

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington native Karl Michler served as an Army medic in France and Germany During World War II.

Lexington WWII veteran Karl Michler

"He landed in Omaha Beach–after it was secured–but he got to walk the same steps as our brave soldiers did when they first invaded France," said Phillip Pittman, President of Honor Flight Kentucky.

Since its inception four years ago, Honor Flight Kentucky has taken more than 700 Kentucky veterans on an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to tour the monuments that commemorate their service.

"We refer to them as the Greatest Generation, and of course they are, and without folks like Karl that endured, served, and sacrificed, we wouldn't enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today," Pittman said.

Members of Central Christian Church in Lexington wanted to send Michler on an honor flight, but when they realized air travel would prove difficult for the nearly 99-year-old, they asked for the honor flight to be brought to him.

At Sunday's service at the church, Michler was saluted with various proclamations from prominent Kentucky officials.

Governor Matt Bevin made Michler a Kentucky Colonel. Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton declared May 26 "Karl Michler Day" in the city.

Michler also received commendations from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and U.S. Representative Andy Barr.

"I almost feel like it's too much," Michler said, adding that the ceremony meant a lot to him.

"It's a great day for Dad, to be honored," said his son, John Michler. "I know it takes him back to a lot of memories and things that he also is proud of."

The senior Michler recalled the high point of the war was V-E Day.

"The low points were just the wounded coming in," he said.

June 6 will mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Michler said he worries younger generations will forget about the sacrifices of his fellow servicemen.

"History's kind of being lost, and when we're gone, it's just about going to be lost," Michler said.

John Michler said it was great for his father to be acknowledged with Sunday's ceremony.

"He is really proud of his service to the country," John Michler said. "It was a group effort for him and he was proud that every one of his generation stepped up."

Honor Flight Kentucky will have two more flights this year, in September and October.

CLICK HERE to find out how you or a loved one can go on an honor flight.