MISSION #39: Great River Honor Flight returns home - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

MISSION #39: Great River Honor Flight returns home

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Veterans from mission #39 in Washington D.C. Veterans from mission #39 in Washington D.C.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

The fifth mission of 2016 for the Great River Honor Flight program included veterans from Korea and Vietnam Thursday.

One of the veterans on mission #39 was Karen Mayville. She is one of several women who have taken the trip to see the memorials.

Mayville was a nurse who served during the Vietnam War. She says she's grateful for the experience. 

"I just can't praise enough the work that was done to make this trip possible to all of us," Mayville said. "Just being able to see all of the monuments, and for me being able to see the nurses monument was the thing I really wanted to see. It was great."

The group consisted of 33 veterans – 12 from Korea and 21 who served in Vietnam. Among the group of veterans are 3 sets of brothers plus a cousin. They will head to Washington DC along with 23 guardians, many of which are relatives of the veterans.  

This is the 39th mission overall since the program started back in 2010 and will continue to increase the total number of local veterans who have flown to Washington DC for free to 1,260.

The trip departed from John Wood Community College around 2 a.m. on Sept. 22. The 56 Veterans and their Guardians traveled by Charter Bus to St. Louis Lambert International Airport where they boarded a flight to Baltimore and then on to our nation’s capital.  

The first stop was at the Vietnam Memorial. This stop included visits to the nearby Korea Way and Lincoln Memorials.

Next on their itinerary was a stop at the World War II Memorial, which sits next to the Washington Monument and where a group picture was taken.

Other stops later that day included the Iwo Jima Memorial dedicated to that WWII battle and the Marines who fought there plus an emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetery.

Next was a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and seeing the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The trip ended with a visit to the Air Force Memorial that overlooks the Pentagon and Washington DC where they also enjoyed dinner prior to returning to Reagan National for their trip home.

The direct flight took them back to St. Louis where they will board a bus for the trip to Quincy. The expected arrival time was around 10:30 p.m. at John Wood Community College, but they were a little late.

Veterans and guardians from the June 18 mission earlier this year that were not able to enjoy a homecoming due to their return flight being delayed joined the motorcade at Bowling Green. This gave them the full homecoming experience that has become such an important element of the total Honor Flight trips.

To date, Great River Honor Flight, the Tri-States’ hub of the Honor Flight program, has flown 1,227 local Veterans to Washington D.C. since it was established in October of 2009.  

The Great River Honor Flight offers one-day trips to Washington, D.C. for these local heroes at no cost to them. Great River Honor Flight, a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation established in October of 2009, was created solely to honor America’s veterans that live in our area for all they have sacrificed by providing, free of charge, transportation to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.  

If you want to keep up with updates and pictures from their trip, go to www.wgem.com/honorflight where pictures and comments from the trip will be posted throughout the day. For additional information, contact Carlos Fernandez at 217-228-6600.

You can find the mission #39 itinerary and list of veterans HERE.

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