LARCHWOOD, Iowa (KELO) — Midwest Honor Flight is ready to once again take flight.
The organization that transports local veterans to Washington D.C. to visit their respective memorials has been grounded for more than a year due to the pandemic.
Midwest Honor Flight has clearance to fly.
“Mission 7 has now been approved to fly to Washington D.C. on September 18, 2021,” Lyon County Riverboat Foundation President Randy Waagmeester said.
The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation, which holds the gaming license for Grand Falls Casino, earned naming rights for mission 7 with a $60,000 grant to Midwest Honor Flight.
“When our board considered the application made by Midwest Honor Flight it was viewed very favorably by our board members and it was approved,” Waagmeester said.
The $60,000 grant provided by the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation will fully fund the trip for 79 veterans.
“This is just a great example of great organizations receiving money and going towards just wonderful organizations in our community,” Grand Falls Casino General Manager Sharon Haselhoff said.
Grand Falls Casino General Manager Sharon Haselhoff is an advocate of Honor Flight. She traveled to Washington D.C. in 2010 with her grandfather.
“Six months later, he passed away and so this one really speaks to my heart because that trip was a trip of a lifetime for him,” Haselhoff said.
“It’s stories like that that keep us going and it’s stories that we will continue to hear from veterans, from guardians, from family members about how life-changing this one-day trip really is,” Midwest Honor Flight President Aaron Van Beek said.
Midwest Honor Flight President Aaron Van Beek says more than 800 local veterans remain on the waiting list, so he’s thrilled to finally be heading back to the nation’s capital.
“We’re so thankful again the for the opportunity to fly this fall, and most importantly we’re most thankful to be honoring our veterans again, that’s our mission,” Van Beek said.
Midwest Honor Flight announced that Mission 8 will be on October 9th.