Great River Honor Flight expands veteran eligibility, 2023 schedule

Looking at the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial during the Great River Honor Flight's...
Looking at the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial during the Great River Honor Flight's 58th mission.(Great River Honor Flight)
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 10:28 AM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The Great River Honor Flight Board of Directors announced Tuesday both the dates for the 2023 missions as well as expanded eligibility for veterans who can apply for future Honor Flights.

Over the past 13 years, there have been 62 completed trips and over 2,000 local veterans participated in an Honor Flight. The mission schedules for 2023 are listed below:

  • Thursday, April 6 (departure and homecoming) – Hannibal LaGrange University
  • Thursday, May 11 (departure and homecoming) – John Wood Community College
  • Thursday, June 15 (departure and homecoming) – Mark Twain High School
  • Thursday, Aug. 17 (departure and homecoming) – John Wood Community College
  • Thursday, Sept. 14 (departure and homecoming) – Hannibal LaGrange University
  • Thursday, Oct. 19 (departure and homecoming) – John Wood Community College

Specific details on each flight will be made available as each date gets closer.

“2023 is the 13th year that Honor Flights have been provided to local veterans. We are very excited to begin the planning process for what we believe will be yet another great year to show the appreciation and gratitude there is throughout the Tri-States for our nation’s veterans,” said Carlos Fernandez, Chairman of Great River Honor Flight.

In addition, the Great River Honor Flight Board of Directors announced veterans who served prior to July 1, 1985, are eligible for future missions.

In 2010, Great River began by offering this free trip to DC to veterans who served during World War II. Since then, Great River has expanded eligibility to those who served during Korea, Vietnam, and the years between those conflicts. Now Great River is accepting applications for those who also served in any capacity between the years 1975 to 1985.

“This is the appropriate next step to our strategy,” said Doug Reed, Treasurer of the Honor Flight board. “The continued financial support that has been given by individuals, groups and businesses as well as memorials from those who have participated in past flights allows us the opportunity to be able to offer this experience to additional local veterans.”

Great River Honor Flight is increasing efforts in the marketing of these flights thru broadcast, print, internet, and social media, as well as contacts with various veterans organizations throughout the region. Their goal is to invite the men and women who served our country to sign up for a future Honor Flight mission.

“We encourage all eligible veterans in the area to fill out an application,” Toni Hatton Park, Vice Chair stated.

Applications are available by going to greatriverhonorflight.com and filling out the forms for both veterans and guardians that can be found on the home page of the website.

Great River Honor Flight was started on Veterans Day 2009 with its first flight scheduled on April 13, 2010.

Great River Honor Flight, the Tri-States’ hub of the National Honor Flight program has flown 2,009 local Veterans to Washington D.C.

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.

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