80-plus veterans prepare for honor flight trip

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Photo from The News-Gazette Photo from The News-Gazette

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – Another flight is scheduled to take Illinois veterans to visit war memorials.

Over 80 total veterans will be on board Land of Lincoln Honor Flight No. 50 when it leaves Springfield for Washington, D.C. The group is scheduled to depart at 4:15 p.m. on June 19 from the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.

The wide majority of the veterans – 70 of them – fought in the Vietnam War. Another 12 fought in the Korean War, while one person on the flight was involved in World War II.

A group of luxury motor coaches will transport the group to memorials for all three wars and Arlington National Cemetery, where they’ll be part of a changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The Lincoln Memorial, National Air and Space Museum and the U.S. Air Force Memorial are also scheduled as destinations.

The veterans will be back in Springfield at 9:30 p.m. on that date. Organizers of the honor flight hope the public will come early and show patriotic support for the veterans when their plane returns to central Illinois. People are encouraged to wear red, white and blue and bring things like balloons or posters.

Veterans interest in taking part in honor flights are asked to apply at this link. First priority will go to World War II veterans (enlisted by 12/31/1946), followed by Korean War veterans (1/1/1947 to 12/31/1957), and finally those who served in the Vietnam War era (1/1/1958 to 5/7/1975).  

Organizers say veterans in the June 19 honor flight come from 54 different communities in and out of central Illinois.

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