SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Midwest Honor Flight has touched down in Washington, DC 13 times since 2017, with more than 1,100 Veterans visiting their respective memorials, and volunteers play a key role in the process.

Midwest Honor Flight wouldn’t be possible without its volunteers.

“They’re vital to ensuring, not only the safety of our Veterans but also that they have an enjoyable and memorable time in DC,” Midwest Honor Flight President & CEO Aaron Van Beek said.

The organization has two trips this month to Washington, and CEO Aaron Van Beek says it’s a whirlwind day for everyone involved.

“When we land in DC, we’ve got ten hours to see World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Lincoln, Air Force, the Navy memorial, the Iwo Jima memorial for the Marines and also Arlington with the Changing of the Guards, and then get back on a plane and fly home,” Van Beek said.

Midwest Honor Flight is preparing for its spring missions with guardian and crew training, with some taking part for the very first time.

“I think what I’m looking forward to is seeing it through his perspective,” Midwest Honor Flight guardian Tami Brown said.

Tami Brown is traveling as a guardian for her uncle Larry Van Natta and is more than impressed with Midwest Honor Flight.

“They have thought of everything to help the Veterans be safe, be comfortable, also allowing time for them to kind of process the emotions that day may bring,” Brown said.

“They’re very excited about the trip and so it’s very fulfilling to watch them,” Midwest Honor Flight guardian Roxann Zenobi said.

Roxann Zenobi owns ABN Army Surplus in Sioux Falls and is preparing for her fifth mission.

“There’s so many reasons (laugh), but mostly it’s for the Veterans, it’s just a enheartening type of thing, it’s meaningful,” Zenobi said.

It’s that passion that has Midwest Honor Flight counting down the days until its next trip east.

“Volunteers are vital and it literally takes an Army to get a flight off the ground,” Van Beek said.

Mission 14 is set for May 16th, while Mission 15 is May 31st. If you’d like to serve as a guardian for an upcoming mission with Midwest Honor Flight, click HERE