They operated heavy artillery, or commanded ICBM
missiles, or flew rescue helicopters, or handled classified
information, or commanded a tank, or sat on the ocean bottom in a
They were in the infantry, or were a radio operator,
or a medic, or an aircraft mechanic, or a cook, or radar repairman,
or maybe an electrician.
They endured rocket attacks in Vietnam, and cold
weather in Korea, and dark, wet seas in the Atlantic and Pacific
They were wounded, suffered from malaria or was
seasick from crossing high seas during a storm.
They had fun, built life-long friendships, made good
memories or saw horrible things that no teenager should have to
And, now in their senior years, five World War II, 20 Korean War and
56 Vietnam War era Veterans, with four of them coming from the US
Air Force, 53 from the Army, five from the Marines and 19 from the
Navy, including one SeaBee, will all gather before dawn on the
morning of Tuesday, June 20th, to take their Land of Lincoln Honor
Flight (LLHF) to Washington, DC.
They will have had an opportunity to have a
pre-flight dinner the night before, along with their family and
Guardian escort, at the VFW Northenders Post 10302. Afterwards,
hopefully, they received a good night’s rest before flight day from
Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.
At no expense to the Veteran, their special day will begin aboard a
chartered 737 aircraft, landing at Reagan National Airport in DC.
From there, these heroes will be transported by three luxury tour
buses to view and reflect at the national memorials built in their
honor - the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War Memorials. The
itinerary will also include visiting or seeing the Washington
Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, National Air & Space
Museum, Air Force & Marine Corps Memorials, the Pentagon and will
conclude at Arlington National Cemetery to witness the Changing of
the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.
Veterans on this flight converged from the 48 Central and Southern
Illinois cities and communities of Altamont, Astoria, Beecher City,
Bethalto, Browning, Carlinville, Chapin, Chatham, Cisco,
Collinsville, Decatur, Edgewood, Effingham, Emden, Franklin, Girard,
Godfrey, Greenfield, Havana, Illiopolis, Ipava, Jacksonville,
Kenney, Louisville, Manchester, Metamora, Minier, Morrisonville, Mt
Zion, Newton, Normal, Oakley, Oblong, Ogden, Pana, Pawnee, Pekin,
Pleasant Plains, Robinson, Rochester, San Jose, Shelbyville,
Springfield, St Marie, Sullivan, Taylorville, Watson and
[to top of second column]
These Veterans are scheduled to return back to
Springfield around 9:30 p.m., and family, friends, strangers and the
general public are invited and encouraged to show their appreciation
to these Veterans by welcoming them home at the airport.
All should feel free to dress in red, white & blue
colors, bring balloons or posters, and show appreciation to these
heroes with hand shakes and hugs. Come early, enjoy free parking and
show you care about the sacrifice and service they gave to the
country. Where else can you meet 81 heroes all in the same place at
the same time?
Veteran applications continue to be accepted, with flight 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.
Because every Veteran flies with a Guardian escort, a trained family
member or independent volunteer, who pays their own way and ensures
the Veteran has a safe and comfort trip on their special day in
Washington, DC, applications for Guardians are also currently being
Veteran or Guardian Applications may be obtained at
HonorFlight.org, then click Applications, then click &
print the application of choice. LLHF is a 501(c)3 non-profit
organization that receives no government funding or grants. It is
only able to honor the Veteran with a trip to DC due to the generous
donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, merchandise sales and
supporting efforts of the many local businesses, individuals and
organizations within their service area. Please visit the web site
to make a donation, consider holding a fundraiser, book a board
member speaker, check the calendar or to obtain more information on
the Honor Flight mission. Also consider following LLHF on their
Facebook page to stay current on upcoming events and flights
throughout the year.
[John Dust, The Honor Flight Guy]