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Honor Flight returns

Veterans will head to Washington in August

-Messenger file photo
David Siebrecht, of Schaller, a U.S. Air Force veteran center, takes a photo of the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, D.C., during a Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight in 2018.

The Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight is preparing to take off once again.

After missing three trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the local nonprofit organization is poised to take about 130 area veterans to Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28.

”It’s a go,” said Ron Newsum, the founder and president of the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight.

The veterans aboard the flight will visit the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the United States Navy Memorial, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, and the Air Force Memorial.

They will also witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

-Messenger file photo
Veterans Skip Smith, left, and Phil Baker, both of Fort Dodge, make their way to the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport before sunrise on a Saturday morning in 2017. Smith and Baker are both U.S. Army veterans who served in Vietnam. The next Honor Flight has been announced for Aug. 28.

The upcoming trip will be the 20th Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight since 2010.

”It’s just so rewarding,” Newsum said. ”To a person, I don’t think there’s a veteran out there that didn’t say they had a good time.’

The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out three flights: two that were scheduled for last year and one that was set for May.

Veterans who signed up to go on the May 2020 trip were the first ones invited to the upcoming flight.

Newsum said everyone going on the Aug. 28 flight will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

He said 132 veterans will be on the flight. The group includes one World War II veteran and six to eight veterans of the Korean War. The rest are Vietnam War veterans.

Those veterans are from 33 counties in northwest and north central Iowa, according to Newsum.

They will be accompanied by Honor Flight volunteers, a physician and three nurses.

The flight aboard a Sun Country Airlines 737 will depart from Fort Dodge Regional Airport early in the morning. It will land at Dulles International Airport in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

It will return to Fort Dodge late that night.

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