Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF), serving central and mid-southern Illinois, will take our first Honor Flight for 2018 on Tuesday, April 3rd, departing from Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. On board LLHF Flight #48 to Washington, DC, will be 3 World War II, 32 Korean War and 44 Vietnam War Era Veterans – all excited to visit and reflect with their comrades at their national memorials. But before this happens, many of these 8 Air Force, 46 Army, 1 Coast Guard, 6 Marines and 18 Navy Vets, along with their Guardians, family and friends, will have enjoyed a pre-flight dinner in their honor the night before at VFW Post #755 in Springfield.
Seventy-nine (79) Veterans and their Guardians will arrive at the airport Tuesday morning at 4:45 AM, having traveled from the 52 Illinois cities and communities of Altamont, Alton, Ashland, Athens, Beecher City, Blue Mound, Carlyle, Champaign, Charleston, Chatham, Chatsworth, Clinton, Cowden, Decatur, Effingham, Elliott, Fairbury, Farmer City, Findlay, Forrest, Gardner, Gibson City, Gilman, Godfrey, Greenup, Griggsville, Hillsboro, Jacksonville, Lincoln, Lisle, Macon, Meredosia, Moro, Moweaqua, Oakwood, Petersburg, Pleasant Plains, Robinson, Rochester, Shelbyville, Sherman, Springfield, Strasburg, Tallula, Teutopolis, Tilton, Tovey, Tower Hill, Vandalia, Virden, Virginia, Waverly as well as Decorah, Iowa.
Our veterans will board three (3) luxury motor coaches upon arrival at Ronald Reagan National Airport in DC. Their most important stops will be at the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Other stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum (Chantilly, Virginia), the US Air Force Memorial, the US Navy Plaza and the US Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima).
This day of honor is provided at absolutely no cost to our Veterans. They have paid enough; it is our turn to pay them back.
The return to Springfield’s airport is planned at 9:30 PM and the general public, along with friends and family, are encouraged to “pack the port” to Welcome Home these heroes. Come early. All are encouraged to wear red-white-blue patriotic colors, bring balloons, posters, etc. to show appreciation and support to these Veterans who served and sacrificed so much for our country. Words of thanks, handshakes, hugs and kisses are also allowed!
Veteran applications continue to be accepted with flight priority given in the following order: World War II (enlisted by 12/31/1946), then Korean War Era (01/01/1947 to 12/31/1957), followed by the Vietnam War Era (01/01/1958 to 05/07/1975). Any certified terminally ill Veteran should contact LLHF directly. Veteran or Guardian Applications may be obtained at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org by clicking on Applications tab.
LLHF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that receives no government funding. It is only able to honor the Veteran with a trip to DC due to the generous donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, merchandise sales and supporting efforts of the many local businesses, individuals and organizations within our service area. Please visit the web site to make a donation, consider holding a fundraiser, book a board member speaker, check the calendar or to obtain more information on the Honor Flight mission. Also consider following LLHF on Facebook page to stay current on upcoming events and future flights.