OHIO VALLEY — Having provided thousands of World War II and Korean War veterans with a day of celebration, Honor Flight Columbus is seeking applications from those who served in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War years — Feb. 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975.
The first flight of this transition into a new era of heroes will be on Oct. 22 for Purple Heart recipients. This is the last flight for 2016. Veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal should apply soon for this one-day trip to Washington, D.C.
Beginning in April 2017, all Vietnam era veterans who apply will be included on regular flights.
“The mission of our many volunteers is to honor our senior veterans with a trip to the nation’s capital to visit their war memorials at no cost to them,” said Jim Downing, Honor Flight Columbus president.
Since 2007, the non-profit group has taken more than 4,400 World War II and Korean veterans on this trip of celebration and reflection.
“It is our goal to transition veterans of wars by the sequence of the conflicts. Accordingly, WWII veterans will continue to have top priority, with Korean veterans next, followed by Vietnam veterans as we schedule flights. In addition, we put terminally ill veterans from any era at the head of the line,” Downing said.
“The trip is free to veterans of these three war periods. They are accompanied by experienced volunteer guardians who pay their own way. Flights are on chartered Southwest Airlines 737 aircraft and we travel in modern motor coaches when in Washington.”
“Thanks to the generosity and support of individual donors, companies and civic organizations who sponsor flights, we can again fly about 500 senior veterans next year,” said Downing. “The sooner we get an application, the sooner the veteran can enjoy the trip to see the monuments. Our goal is to honor as many of these selfless men and women as we can.”
Applications and detailed information about the program are available at www.HonorFlightColumbus.Org or by calling the office at 614-284-4987.