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Honor Flight stars in 'NCIS' episode tonight

An Honor Flight trip to Washington for World War II veterans is the setting of an episode tonight of NCIS, CBS's top-rated primetime drama.

NCIS writer Gina Lucita Monreal found her inspiration for the episode when she served as a guardian for her grandfather-in-law on an Honor Flight out of Wisconsin. While the episode’s storyline is fictional, the deep and meaningful connections the traveling veterans formed and the passion of Honor Flight volunteers came through true and clear.

"This unprecedented nationwide exposure provides each of us with an invaluable opportunity to move closer to our shared goal of personally thanking every Western North Carolina- area WWII, Korean and Vietnam war veteran with his or her long-overdue day of honor," Blue Ridge Honor Flight said in a news release. "We can use it as a catalyst for reaching local veterans who’ve yet to fly with Blue Ridge Honor Flight, encouraging the crucial financial and volunteer support needed to further our mission, and forging new relationships that will enable us to honor veterans now and long into the future."

Co-founded by Hendersonville business owner Jeff Miller, the Honor Flight network has flown World War II veterans to Washington to see the National World War II Memorial and other sites for 10 years. NCIS producers had the Honor Flight network review the script to authenticate the Honor Flight experience and make changes. Someone is murdered and the crack forensic team has to solve the crime. The show airs at 8 p.m. on CBS.