Great River Honor Flight expands veteran eligibility list

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:00 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - The Great River Honor Flight released their 2023 mission schedule while also announcing an expansion of eligibility. A new groups of veterans is now being accepted to the Honor Flight eligible list.

Veterans that served between 1975 and 1985 are now being accepted for 2023 flights.

This year will mark the 13th year of providing veterans free trips to Washington, D.C. Over 2000 local veterans have participated in 62 completed trips.

Great River Honor Flight Chairman, Carlos Fernandez said that expanding the list of eligible veterans is always the goal.

”When we started this thing 12 years ago, it was just World War II veterans and then we expanded to Korea,” Fernandez said. “And then we expanded to Vietnam, and then we expanded to people that served between those conflicts and now were expanding to 1985. That’s 10 years beyond Vietnam because we want to serve the veterans in this region.”

Each mission is fully funded for the veterans. The trips are made possible by financial support from groups, businesses, individuals and memorials from veterans that have participated on the flight in the past.

”It’s truly just the look on their face,” Fernandez said. “The service they have provided this country is amazing regardless of what they have done, it doesn’t matter if they fought or if they played an administrative roll or whatever, that’s not their call, but when you take a look at the fact that they’ve spent a day with people that are basically saying thanks to them. This is what makes it all worth while.”

The Great River Honor Flight is still open for applications.

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