The Honor Flight of Greater Dubuque took its first initial flight in May 2010, bringing nearly ninety World War Two veterans on a one-day trip to Washington to visit the new World War Two Memorial, as well as the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, the U.S. Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetary and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Not only did the trips give the veterans a chance to see the monuments, but they were given first-class treatment the entire day… receiving a hero’s welcome wherever they went, bringing happy tears and smiles to many of the old soldiers.
Since that initial flight in 2010, nine other Honor Flight trips have been taken – many of those were back-to-back flights – transporting over nine-hundred area veterans, including Korean War veterans, to our nation’s capital to see and experience their memorials. Many other veterans – from Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan – served as guardians on the flights. The most recent Honor Flights were just last week – back-to-back trips on Monday and Tuesday. Mason says the Honor Flight was much more than a trip for many veterans – it fulfilled something that had been missing since their time in the service decades ago. And for a few veterans, it was their dying wish.
Mason says the Honor Flight trips would never have been possible without the generosity of the tri-state area.
Mason says any funds that remain will be distributed to area veterans groups who are dedicated to helping veterans and veterans’ families.
Though the Honor Flight of Greater Dubuque has disbanded, several others in the area still remain, including Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, the Quad Cities and La Crosse, Wisconsin. Sandy Ahrens with the Delaware County Veterans Office says any area veterans who would still like to go on the Honor Flight have been invited to go along with the Waterloo group, and she’s reaching out to the Cedar Rapids Hub with that request as well. Applications are currently available at the Veterans Office.
KMCH News Director Janelle Tucker was invited along on that first initial Honor Flight of Greater Dubuque in 2010. Here’s a look back at her special two-part in-depth report of the day’s events.