They will depart at dawn from Abraham Lincoln National Airport
aboard a chartered 737 jetliner for their day long trip to visit the
nation’s capital. Each Veteran will be accompanied by a volunteer
Guardian escort as they tour and reflect at the World War II, Korean
and Vietnam Memorials built to honor their service and sacrifice for
the country. They will also have time to visit the Air Force, Marine
and Lincoln Memorials, as well as view the Washington Monument,
Jefferson Memorial, the Pentagon and other sites in the DC area.
Stops will be made at the National Air & Space Museum in Chantilly,
Virginia, that houses the B-29 SuperFortress Enola Gay, the
Discovery space shuttle, the SR-71 “Blackbird”, and many more WWI,
WWII, Korean and Vietnam era aircraft. The trip will be capped with
a tour of Arlington National Cemetery to witness the Changing of the
Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.
The Veterans and Guardians will return to the Springfield airport
with a projected 9:30 PM arrival, where family, friends and the
general public are encouraged to “Welcome Home” the 15 US Air Force,
42 Army, 7 Marines and 15 Navy Vets. Participates are encouraged to
show their appreciation with patriotic balloons, posters, small
flags, red-white-blue clothing, etc. In fact the Honor Flight
Network states “We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on
the curb and clap as they go by.” Come out early to share a hand
shake, hug and a “thank you” for these heroes. There is free parking
and shuttle service at the airport.
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This trip is provided completely free of charge to the Veterans by
LLHF due to the generous donations, sponsorships, fund raising and
efforts of numerous individuals, businesses, organizations and
volunteers. For LLHF this will be their 41st trip but it is the one
and only Honor Flight for the Veterans onboard this day. They come
from the 49 cities and communities of central and southern Illinois
of Alexander, Arenzville, Argenta, Athens, Auburn, Beardstown,
Bloomington, Braidwood, Carlinville, Carrollton, Columbia, Concord,
Crescent City, Danville, Divernon, Dorsey, Edwardsville, Fairbury,
Farmersville, Findlay, Forsyth, Gillespie, Girard, Jacksonville,
Lincoln, Litchfield, Loda, Mansfield, Mattoon, Mt Sterling, Mt
Olive, Mt Pulaski, Neoga, Nokomis, Pana, Pawnee, Pekin, Petersburg,
Pontiac, Quincy, Riverton, Rushville, Sherman, Springfield,
Streator, Sullivan, Teutopolis, Tilton and West Salem.
Veteran applications continue to be accepted, with priority given in the
following order: World War II (person enlisted by 12/31/1946), then Korean War
Era (01/01/1947 to 12/31/1957), followed by the Vietnam War Era (01/01/1958 to
05/07/1975). Any certified terminally ill Veteran should contact LLHF directly.
Although the one remaining October 25th flight of this year is filled, flights
are planned to resume in April of 2017.
Veteran or Guardian Applications may be obtained at
www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org or contact John Dust at
HonorFlightGuy@aol.com or phone
309-339-0227 if help is needed. LLHF, managed by a non-paid board and
volunteers, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that receives no government
funding or grants. Please follow LLHF on their Facebook page to stay current on
upcoming events, fund raisers, flights, etc. Hope to see you “on the curb”.