MISSION #40: GRHF returns from final flight of 2016 - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

MISSION #40: GRHF returns from final flight of 2016

Veterans in Washington D.C. taking in the sights. Veterans in Washington D.C. taking in the sights.
Veterans in Washington D.C. on Thursday. Veterans in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

The final mission of 2016 for the Great River Honor Flight program included veterans from Korea and Vietnam and equally important, this group is made up of veterans exclusively from Hancock County, Illinois.

The veterans came from Warsaw, Hamilton, Carthage, Niota, Bowen, Nauvoo and Woodstock. The group, consisted of 36 veterans – 2 served in Korea and the remaining 34 served during the Vietnam War.  

The group consisted of 19 who served in the Army, eight in the Navy, four in the Marines, four in the Air Force and one who served both in the Navy and Air Force. They will head to Washington DC along with 20 guardians, many of whom are relatives of the veterans.  

It was 40th 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 1,296.

The trip departed Thursday from John Wood Community College around 2 a.m. The 56 veterans and guardians traveled by Charter Bus to St. Louis Lambert International Airport where they boarded a flight to Baltimore before heading to our nation’s capital.  

The first stop was at the Vietnam Memorial. This stop included visits to the nearby Korean War 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 will be taken.  

Other stops 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.

To date Great River Honor Flight, the Tri-States’ hub of the Honor Flight program has flown 1,260 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 #40 itinerary and list of veterans HERE.

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