The Never Forgotten Honor Flight organization based in Wausau will fly 16 WWII veterans, 39 Korean War veterans and 39 Vietnam War veterans from central and northern Wisconsin to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials that honor their service on Monday, April 18. It’s the organization’s 23rd flight since the first Never Forgotten Honor Flight took place April 27, 2010.
Sixty-four guardians will accompany the vets on the one-day round trip that departs Central Wisconsin Airport at 7 a.m. and is scheduled to return at approximately 10 p.m. The public is invited to the Central Wisconsin Airport to welcome the veterans home Monday night, and Honor Flight officials recommend arriving no later than 8:30 p.m. Free parking for those welcoming the veterans home will be provided.
After Monday’s trip, the Never Forgotten Honor Flight will have taken 2,098 veterans to Washington, D.C. during the past five years. Additional trips are scheduled for May 16, Sept. 12, and Oct. 10, 2016. Any veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are encouraged to submit an application as soon as possible.
Veterans receive a free round-trip flight, and guardians pay $500 for the opportunity to accompany one or two veterans on the trip. Veterans and guardians interested in taking a future Honor Flight must complete an application at: www.neverforgottenhonorflight.org or contact the organization at 715-573-8519. The veterans are selected based upon the order in which their applications are received and the conflict they served in. Preference is given to World War II veterans, then Korea Veterans and then Vietnam veterans. Veterans who are terminally ill, regardless of when they served, are also given preference. Guardians should be 18-69 years old and able to lend physical assistance to the veterans. Completed applications for veterans and guardians also can be mailed to Never Forgotten Honor Flight, P.O. Box 5056 Wausau, WI 54402-5056.
North Central Wisconsin’s Never Forgotten Honor Flight is the nation’s 77th regional hub and one of six Wisconsin Honor Flight hubs. The Wausau-based organization was certified by the National Honor Flight Network office in Springfield, Ohio on Dec. 11, 2009.
A reporter from the Merrill Foto News will be going along on Monday’s Honor Flight.