Second Midwest Honor Flight of the year set to take off Saturday

Local News

GARRETSON, S.D. (KELO) — Midwest Honor Flight will have another mission October 9.

Just over two weeks ago, 82 veterans went to Washington D.C. on a Midwest Honor Flight. Now, 120 Vietnam veterans are set to take off on Saturday for another trip.

“We have 800 vets on the waiting list right now, and this will be one of those flights that it’s try to catch up from COVID-19. Next year we have scheduled five flights just because we got the waiting list, and people are getting older and we want to make sure they had their one last flight with honor,” Midwest Honor Flight board of directors member Greg Miner said.

Being able to fly again is something the organization has been looking forward to.

“We’ve been raising money to make sure that our vets get out there, and then not being able to go, it was heartbreaking for us. Especially sitting out almost two years,” Miner said.

Saturday is the second time they will have had a flight only for Vietnam vets. The first one brought some special moments.

“The vets got up on the microphone in the plane while we were in the air telling their stories about Vietnam. Then the stewardesses came up and told stories about their family members. It was so emotional,” Miner said.

Tony Grandy, commander of Garretson American Legion Post 23, says 10 veterans registered to go on a flight at their fundraiser today.

“I’ve known three or four that have went. Words I’ve heard is that it’s the trip of a lifetime,” he said. “They were able to travel with their sons or daughters, and to them it was just one of the best trips they ever had in their life. As we’re losing those veterans, as a matter of fact about a month ago, one of our veterans passed away and his son at his visitation, all he could talk about was what a great opportunity it was for him to travel to D.C. with his loved one.”

Saturday is almost here.

“They’ve had colleagues, they’ve had buddies, they’ve had other people that basically said, ‘you’ve got to go, it’s something else.’ There’s lots of surprises along the way, but a lot of it is done on purpose from us and trying to recognize the veterans that we serve that we’re taking out there.”

KELOLAND’s Carter Schmidt will be going with on the Honor Flight Saturday. There will be coverage of that flight on-air and online.

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