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Local veterans to fly on Honor Flight
Commercial-News - 7/12/2022
Jul. 12—SPRINGFIELD — Land of Lincoln Honor Flight announces Mission #61 takes flight on Tuesday, July 19.
Ninety-six veterans will be on board the flight from Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport to Washington, DC — one World War II, four Korean War and 91 Vietnam War era veterans — all ready to experience their national memorials with their comrades. The veterans represent all branches of military service: 16 Air Force, 56 Army, four Marine and 20 Navy veterans.
The veterans and 82 guardians will arrive at the airport Tuesday morning at 4:15 a.m., having traveled from the 65 central and southern Illinois cities and communities of Beason, Bismarck, Bloomington, Brighton, Carlyle, Carrollton, Casey, Cerro Gordo, Charleston, Chatham, Clinton, Coffeen, Decatur, East Alton, Effingham, Franklin, Georgetown, Gifford, Girard, Godfrey, Greenfield, Greenup, Griggsville, Homer, Hoopeston, Jacksonville, Jerseyville, Lawrenceville, Lincoln, Litchfield, Manito, Maroa, Mason, Mason City, Mattoon, Moweaqua, Normal, Oakwood, Pana, Petersburg, Pleasant Plains, Robinson, Roxana, South Jacksonville, Salem, San Jose, Shelbyville, Sidell, Springfield, St Joseph, Stonington, Streator, Sumner, Taylorville, Tolono, Towanda, Tower Hill, Trenton, Trivoli, Urbana, Waterloo, Waverly and Whitehall as well as from Flemington, Mo. and Perrysville, Ind.
Joan Bortolon, LLHF President, stated, "It is a privilege for us to serve these veterans who served our country. These 96 veterans answered the country's call to defend our way of life and secure our freedom. We are looking forward to honoring them as they visit the national memorials dedicated to their service. This day of honor is provided at absolutely no cost to our veterans. They have paid enough; it is our turn to pay them back."
The veterans travel to Ronald Reagan National Airport on a chartered Sun Country 737. Upon arrival, they will board luxury motorcoaches and tour the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns. Other stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum (Chantilly, Va.), the US Marine Corps Memorial and the US Air Force Memorial.
These heroes return to newly-renovated Springfield airport at 9:30 p.m.July 19. The general public, friends, family and LLHF alumni veterans are encouraged to "pack the 'port" to welcome home these heroes.
Bortolon stated, "Most of our veterans did not receive a welcome home upon their discharge — a welcome home and thank you they earned and deserve. It is a very memorable and healing part of the Honor Flight experience and the Springfield crowds never disappoint them. We appreciate every member of the general public who makes the effort to participate."
Greeters are encouraged to arrive early and show appreciation for and support of these veterans who sacrificed so much for our country. Parking assistance and a parking lot shuttle bus will be available for those attending the event.
Land of Lincoln Honor Flight is a 501©3 non-profit organization that receives no government funding. It is only able to honor veterans due to the generous donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, merchandise sales and supporting efforts of the many local businesses, individuals and organizations within our service area. Land of Lincoln Honor Flight is operated by all volunteers; it has no paid staff, no office and no utilities costs. Their on-going administrative cost is approximately 1% so virtually every dollar raised supports flight costs for our veterans.
Veteran applications continue to be accepted with flight priority given in the following order: World War II (enlisted by 12/31/1946), then Korean War Era (01/01/1947 to 12/31/1957), followed by the Vietnam War Era (01/01/1958 to 05/07/1975). Any certified terminally ill veteran should contact LLHF directly. Veteran and Guardian Applications may be obtained at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org by clicking on Applications tab.
Since the inception in 2009, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has been privileged to serve 4,730 veterans on 61 flights. Additional 2022 flights are planned for Aug. 30, Sept. 27 and Nov. 1.
(c)2022 the Commercial-News (Danville, Ill.)
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