Another Honor Flight is planned for this September for take veterans to Washington, D.C. Central Iowa Honor Flight, the Polk County Board of Supervisors and Des Moines-area Hy-Vee stores are sponsoring the flight.
Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly served as a “guardian” to help veterans on previous Honor Flight out of Des Moines in 2014.
“It was probably the most rewarding and emotional time I’ve had as an elected official to see those veterans go to their memorials,” Connolly says. “They were proud. They were thankful that we did this trip for them. It was a long, grueling day, but it was a great experience.” Connolly says it was also a healing experience for some, as they were able to talk about their war experiences with others who served.
“I can’t describe the emotion that you really do go through with them,” Connolly says. Most of those who’ll be on this latest Honor Flight will be Vietnam Veterans, with a handful of veterans of the Korean War. Connolly says veterans of Korea — sometimes called the forgotten war — were moved by that 2014 to their memorial. It features nine-foot-tall soldiers wearing ponchos, appearing to walk through the rice paddies of Korea.
“It’s breathtaking, for sure,” Connolly says, “and I think that was the feeling some of these veterans had once they got to see the memorial.” More than two million Americans served in Vietnam, but federal records indicate fewer than 850,000 of them are alive today. The granite wall that lists the names of soldiers who died in Vietnam also will be part of the Honor Flight’s tour.
The flight will be leaving from the Des Moines airport to Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Sept 12th early in the morning. They will be taking two 747 planes so there will be room for about 250 veterans with 85 guardians You can go to the Central Iowa Honor Flight website to sign up.