SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Midwest Honor Flight will make its return to Washington, D.C. on Saturday.
Mission 9 marks the first of five trips Midwest Honor Flight will make to Washington, D.C. in 2022.
“Our hope is with these five flights it’ll actually take about 450 Veterans off of our 850 veteran waiting list,” Midwest Honor Flight President Aaron Van Beek said.
83 veterans are set to take flight, including a pair of World War II veterans.
“Really excited for them to get this chance to see their memorial, but we’re also excited for Korean and Vietnam veterans that are also on this trip,” Van Beek said.
The Sioux City Musketeers are sponsoring every veteran on the mission. The USHL franchise raised more than $30,000 during last fall’s Military Appreciation Night and nearly $86,000 over the past two seasons.
“We were all really surprised and humbled when the response from the community made it where we were able to fund the entire flight, so this has been a labor of love for us for the past few years,” Sioux City Musketeers Managing Partner Lloyd Ney said.
The team’s contribution doesn’t end there, as every veteran on the trip is assigned a guardian.
“We were fortunate enough to have six guardians that we got to choose to come on the flight and so we’ve got housing parents, people connected to the team,” Ney said.
“Really excited for some of their crew to join us as well and see exactly why these military appreciation jersey auctions mean so much to our organization, more importantly, our veterans,” Van Beek said.
After two flights and ten hours of sightseeing, Mission 9 will end with a welcome home ceremony.
“They’ve seen their memorials, they’ve been welcomed home, some for the very first time 50, 60 years after the war, and they got to take their Honor Flight,” Van Beek said.
The Welcome Home Ceremony is scheduled for 9:00 Saturday night at the Sioux Falls Arena. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Mission 10 is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1st.
If you’d like to apply for an upcoming Midwest Honor Flight mission, click HERE.