The fifth mission of 2018 for the Great River Honor Flight program will include Tri-State veterans who served in Vietnam, Korea, and between those conflicts. This latest group will consists of 30 local veterans, and comes from Adams, McDonough, Hancock and Pike counties in Illinois, Marion, Pike, Clark and Shelby counties in Missouri and Lee County in Iowa.

The fifth mission of 2018 for the Great River Honor Flight program will include Tri-State veterans who served in Vietnam, Korea, and between those conflicts. This latest group will consists of 30 local veterans, and comes from Adams, McDonough, Hancock and Pike counties in Illinois, Marion, Pike, Clark and Shelby counties in Missouri and Lee County in Iowa. They will head to Washington DC along with 26 guardians, many of which are relatives of the veterans.

Of note, this is the 50th mission overall. Great River Honor Flight was started on Veterans Day 2009 with its first flight scheduled on April 13, 2010 (a group picture of that first group taken at Arlington National Cemetery is enclosed with this news release). All the veterans were from World War II. It continued this way for several years until it was expanded to include veterans who had served during the Korean War. Since then, the program has expanded to include veterans during the Vietnam War as well as those who served between those conflicts. Honor Flight representatives continue to increase the total number of local veterans who have flown to Washington D.C. for free thanks to the financial support of many individuals, groups and businesses in the area. The trip will depart from John Wood Community College’s campus around 2 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29. The 56 Veterans and their Guardians 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.

The first stop will be at the Vietnam Memorial. This stop will also include visits to the nearby Korea War and Lincoln Memorials. Next on their itinerary is a stop at the World War II Memorial, which sits next to the Washington Monument — a group picture will be taken.  Next will be a visit and lunch stop at the Air Force Memorial overlooking the Pentagon as well as a tour of major spots in D.C. The trip will end with an emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetery including seeing the ceremonial changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier prior to returning to Reagan National for their trip home.

The direct flight will take them back to St. Louis where they will board a bus for the trip back to Quincy. The expected arrival time will be around 10:45 p.m. at John Wood Community College.

To date, Great River Honor Flight, the Tri-States’ hub of the Honor Flight program, has flown 1,608 local Veterans to Washington D.C. since it was established in 2009. This trip will increase that total to 1,638.  List of those participating in this mission are below.

The Great River Honor Flight offers one-day trips to Washington, D.C. for these local heroes at no cost. Great River Honor Flight, a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation established in October of 2009, was created solely to honor America’s veterans who live in our area for all they have sacrificed by providing free of charge transportation to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

If you want to keep up with updates and pictures from their trip, go to www.wgem.com/honorflight where pictures and comments from the trip will be posted throughout the day. For additional information, contact Carlos Fernandez at 217-228-6600.