One last Honor Flight is in the works from the Fort Dodge airport this fall that will whisk World War Two veterans off on a day-long trek to Washington D.C. They’re given the heroes’ treatment on tours of the memorial honoring their sacrifices — and other historic sights around the nation’s capitol.
Ron Newsum, president the Brushy Creek Honor Flight chapter, says this will be their final charter. “The number of eligible World War Two veterans is diminishing and what started out initially as hopefully the one flight has wound up being a fifth flight,” Newsum says. The final flight will carry veterans from 16 north-central Iowa counties to Washington on September 17th.
Newsum says the program has been very rewarding for everyone involved since the first flight in May of 2010.The flights each take about 100 veterans so by the time the fifth flight is over, there will have been about 500 veterans given the honor, in addition to about 300 guardians who accompany them. For many, he says, it’s a very emotional experience.
Each of the flights cost about $90,000, but all veterans are carried for free. There are no corporate sponsors and Newsum says they’re totally reliant on donations and fundraisers. Guardians have to pay their own way at $600 each. Applications are still being taken for the final flight.
In addition to Fort Dodge, flights have also been originating in Marion/Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Forest City, the Quad Cities and Waterloo. Learn more at: “www.honorflight.org”
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City