SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been nearly two years since Midwest Honor Flight last headed to Washington, D.C. But on Saturday, veterans are flying again. They’ll visit the memorials that commemorate their experiences.
Friday brought a banquet; Harvey Buller of Mountain Lake, Minn. will take in the experience on Saturday.
“Well, it’s really good because [it] gives us a chance to see some of the memorials and the changing of the guard at Arlington, so it’ll be good,” Buller said.
“Our tagline is it’s ‘One Final Tour with Honor,'” said Cory Van Sloten, Midwest Honor Flight vice president. “And for veterans of World War II and Korea and Vietnam it’s an, it’s a final opportunity for them to have some honor, respect, closure, perhaps healing, that’s been for some of them long overdue, and for all of them to really receive a welcome home that they maybe have gotten in the past, but maybe they did not.”
The last Midwest Honor Flight was on October 12, 2019.
“Kind of surreal,” Van Sloten said. “It feels like it’s been on one hand like it was yesterday that we last flew, on the other hand it feels like it was a really long time ago.”
Every day the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War eras are further in the past.
“What few World War II veterans we have, along with the Korean veterans, they don’t have much time left, and so two years is costly for us and our mission to get our veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials dedicated to their service and their sacrifice,” Van Sloten said.
83 veterans from the upper Midwest are set to see the memorials on Saturday.