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Honor Flight expands to peacetime veterans

Those who served between WW II, Korea and Vietnam are now eligible

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Marine Corps veteran Glenn Howard, of Dolliver, is all smiles as he checks in for the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight the morning of Sept. 21 at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport.

Veterans who served their country during times of peace in between World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War are now eligible to take part in the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight.

“These peacetime veterans deserve the right to go,” said Ron Newsum, the chairman of the board that organizes the local Honor Flights.

“Some of the peacetime veterans are in their 90s already,” he added. “It’s well time that we give the same thought to them, too.”

The Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight takes veterans to Washington, D.C., for free to see the nation’s war memorials. The first flight was on May 1, 2010. Only World War II veterans were on that flight.

When they were organizing that first trip, Newsum and his fellow board members hoped to get enough veterans and money for one flight. That first flight was a success, and the board has organized two flights a year since then for a total of 19 trips so far.

The 2020 flights are scheduled for May 9 and Sept. 19.

From 2010 to 2013, only World War II veterans were eligible to go on an Honor Flight. Starting in 2013, Korean War veterans were eligible. Then in 2015, eligibility was opened to Vietnam War veterans.

Now, veterans who served between World War II and the Korean War are invited to apply for a seat on a flight. Also, all those who served between the Korean War and the Vietnam War are now eligible.

World War II veterans, Korean War veterans and Vietnam War veterans will continue to receive priority.

Applications can be picked up at local veterans services offices.

On the day of each trip, the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flights depart early in the morning from the Fort Dodge Regional Airport. They fly to Dulles International Airport in the Virginia suburbs of Washington. There, the veterans board buses and head into the nation’s capital to see the various memorials. They return to Fort Dodge Regional Airport late that night.