Veteran group will be mostly from Pike County, Ill.

The fifth and final mission of 2017 for the Great River Honor Flight program will be a unique group.  It will include veterans from Korea and Vietnam, with all but two of them being from Pike County, Ill.  The group consists of 66 local veterans — 7 who served during the Korean conflict and the remaining 59 served in Vietnam.  They will head to Washington DC along with 46 guardians, many of who are relatives of the veterans.  

This is the 45th mission overall since the program started back in 2010 and will continue to increase the total number of local veterans who have flown to Washington DC for free close to the 1,500 mark to 1,484.  The trip will depart from the Hannibal-LaGrange University campus around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.  The Saturday departure, which has become more frequent in 2017, is due to changes in available flights to DC and the need to have at least 8 hours of ground time there for the veterans to see and enjoy the many memorials they will visit.  The 112 Veterans and their Guardians, which is twice the normal size of previous Great River Honor Flights, will travel by charter bus to St. Louis Lambert International Airport where they will board a flight to Baltimore and then on to our nation’s capital for stops at various memorials, including the Vietnam Memorial, Korea Way, and Lincoln Memorial before a final stop at Arlington National Cemetery.  

The expected arrival time will be around 10:30 p.m. at Hannibal-LaGrange University.

The Great River Honor Flight offers one-day trips to Washington, D.C. for these local heroes at no cost to them.