On Tuesday, June 21st, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF) of Springfield Illinois will fly 5 World War II, 29 Korean War and 46 Vietnam War era Veterans on their day long, cost free Honor Flight trip to Washington DC. The 80 Vets, who will depart from Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, will come from the 53 Illinois communities and cities of Alton, Athens, Bloomington, Bluffs, Brighton, Canton, Carlinville, Chapin, Chatham, Chenoa, Chesterfield, Clinton, Danville, Decatur, Dorsey, Dow, East Peoria, Emden, Findlay, Godfrey, Greenfield, Gridley, Hillsboro, Jacksonville, Lincoln, Litchfield, Macon, Mahomet, Maroa, Mason City, Middletown, Modesto, Morrisonville, Mt. Olive, Murrayville, Oreana, Palmyra, Pekin, Petersburg, Pinckneyville, Potomac, Rankin, Rantoul, Riverton, Roanoke, Rochester, Rushville, South Jacksonville, Shelbyville, Shipman, Springfield, Taylorville and Watson. Having been established in early 2009, this will be LLHF’s 39th flight and a total of 2,985 Veterans will have been honored with their Honor Flight.
Departure for DC will be shortly after 6:00 AM on a chartered 737 jetliner from Springfield and then the 15 US Air Force, 44 Army, 10 Marines and 11 Navy Veterans will tour Washington’s Military Memorials and other related sites on three coach buses for the day. The final stop will be Arlington National Cemetery to visit the cemetery and witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. The group will then be due back to the Springfield airport at 9:30 PM, thus family, friends and the general public are encouraged to come to the airport early to “Welcome Home” these heroes for the sacrifices and service they gave to our country. All participants are encouraged to show their patriotic spirit with balloons, posters, small flags, red-white-blue clothing, etc. Come out and say “thank you” to those who have protected your freedoms.
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). WWII and Korean War era could still fly in 2016 with prompt submission of app. Any certified terminally ill Veteran should contact LLHF directly. Also, because every Veteran flies with a guardian escort – a volunteer who pays their own way – applications for guardians are also being accepted. This may be any able-bodied person, 18-70 years old, except for Veterans who have already been honored with a flight. For the guardian fee, included is LLHF’s training, cap & t-shirt, round-trip flight, bus tour during the day, meals & snacks, and the rare privilege of spending the day honoring our true heroes – the Veterans.
Veteran or Guardian Applications may be obtained at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org or by contacting John Dust at HonorFlightGuy@aol.com or phone 309-339-0227. LLHF, ran by non-paid board and volunteers, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that receives no government funding or grants. So they may continue to honor the Veterans with these flights, it relies on 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 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 for this year. Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has also announced additional upcoming flights on August 16th (filled), September 13th and October 25th.