Dwindling number of WWII Veterans on Honor Flights

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill (WAND)- The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight's 46th flight will take off Tuesday morning, but with only three World War II era veterans. 

The program says they have just seven WWII veterans on their list of more than 800 veterans planning to take an honor flight. The other four veterans will head to Washington DC on the next flight in October. The dwindling number is to expected the organization says. 

"A lot of people don't do the math, but if a World War II veteran went in on the last day of WWII and they were 17, today they are in their nineties. So there just aren't that many ninety year olds that are able to go, there are still a fair number left, but their health doesn't allow them to fly." said John Dust, a board member of Land of Lincoln Honor Flight.

The organization expects to continue to see fewer WWII veterans make the trip to Washington DC, instead they say they are beginning to see more Vietnam era veterans on the flights. 

"We have flown just shy of 1500 WWII, we have flown the same number of Korean ear, and of course now we are just getting into the Vietnam era, because of the fewer Korean and WWII. So we have flown almost 500 of those." said Dust. 

WWII veterans and those with terminal illnesses are given first priority on the flight list. 

Tuesday's flight will have 76 veterans on it. 3 from WWII, 40 from Korean War, and the rest will be from Vietnam war. 

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has taken more than 3,000 veterans on honor flights since 2009. The trip is free for veterans in honor of their service to the country.

For more information about the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight head to their website.

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