Hiawatha’s Homer White American Legion Post 66 is seeking area military veterans who are interested in being part of a group to go on an Honor Flight.

Any WW II, Korean or Vietnam War Veterans are eligible. Post Service Officer, Joe Benson, is coordinating the local effort with the Honor Flight Network of Kansas City. Benson said a date for this trip has not been determined yet, but is expected to be this fall.

Honor Flights are conducted by non-profit organizations dedicated to transporting as many United States military veterans as possible to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials of the respective war(s) they fought in, at no cost to the veterans. Until recently, the focus has been on bringing veterans of World War II and any veteran with a terminal illness. Organizers planned to “naturally transition” their programs to focus on veterans of the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and subsequent wars as the veterans of those wars get older.

The first honor flight took place in May 2005, when six small planes flew 12 veterans to Washington, D.C. Due to high participation, the program began using commercial flights. At the end of 2005, the program had transported 137 veterans to the memorial. Since then, others organizations have emerged and Honor Flight groups around the country are now providing this service for the nations war veterans.

The Honor Flight Network of Kansas City conducts fund raising throughout the year to be able to transport Veterans for no cost to the Veteran. Veterans who may need assistance may bring someone with them as Guardian for $650, to cover their costs. The trip is a long day, departing Kansas City at 4:00 AM and returning that evening at 10 p.m. The Veterans are given royal treatment, visit the several war memorials on the National Mall, have lunch, and visit Arlington Cemetery.

Area veterans who are interested in taking this trip or want more information should contact Benson at (785) 741-0980.

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