Honor Flight to take off April 22
The Eastern Iowa Honor Flight group is getting ready for their first Honor Flight of the year on April 22.
This past December the group received a grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation of $52,500 for an Honor Flight.
“The April flight is the one sponsored by the Washington County Riverboat Foundation,” said George Rickey, public relations/media coordinator for Eastern Iowa Honor Flight.
Veterans from Washington County are given the priority for the April 22 flight because of the grant, Rickey said. Currently, there are 16 Washington County veterans signed up to go on the April 22 flight with their guardians.
There are 83 veterans scheduled to attend the April 22 Honor Flight from the WWII and Korea era, Rickey said.
“We have a pretty long list of people signed up to go, as veterans and as guardians,” he said. “There’s a waiting list and the list of people who are going changes due to deaths and guardians who no longer want to go because their family member passed away.”
If there are veterans from Washington County who would like to travel on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., Rickey said they would try to get them on the other three Honor Flight’s on May 21, Sept. 23, and Oct. 21.
The first priority for Eastern Iowa Honor Flight is to take terminally ill veterans to Washington, D.C., Rickey said.
“On our last Honor Flight we had some terminally ill Vietnam vets that we took,” Rickey said. “Then we give priority to WWII veterans and Korea veterans but the last four flights have been predominately Korea veterans.”
All veterans are invited to go on Honor Flights, no matter where they served and what detail they had while serving, Rickey said.
“One of the most frustrating things is the vet says, ‘I didn’t do anything special,’ “ Rickey said. “I would like to tell them if you put a uniform on and served our country, then you deserve to go on an Honor Flight.”
For veterans interested in attending an Honor Flight, Rickey said they can put in an application through the Web site www.eihonorflight.org.
“We would like to advise people to put in their applications as soon as possible,” Rickey said.