DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of 12 military heroes and their guests left North Texas for Washington D.C. on Wednesday morning as part of the ‘Faces of Freedom’ program. It is a joint venture between Southwest Airlines and the Texas Rangers, sending the brave men and women to the nation’s capital for a two-day, all expense paid trip.

The veterans departed from Dallas Love Field, and will soon have the opportunity to see some of the country’s most famous monuments. They will tour the National Mall and view the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, they are set to meet with Texas Congressman Pete Sessions for a tour of the Capitol. The group makes one final stop at Arlington National Cemetery before coming back home on Thursday night.

This year’s honorees represent all military branches and includes Purple Heart recipients and veterans from the Vietnam War and Korean War. “I’m probably the first Vietnam War vet to go on this trip,” said Sgt. John Lunkwicz. “So, all my Vietnam buddies, it’s pretty much a welcome home trip.”

The ‘Faces of Freedom’ program started last year as a way to honor local veterans. During the Texas Rangers baseball season, fans were encouraged to nominate somebody who showed tremendous courage in the line of duty. Each month, the Rangers organization selected one person from those who had been nominated.

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