On Saturday, Honor Flight Columbus begins another season of taking veterans to see their memorials in Washington, D.C.
Honor Flight began in Springfield, Ohio in 2004, taking World War Two veterans to see their memorial. Columbus flights began in 2007 and have taken more than 4,000 veterans on flights.
For the first time, Vietnam War veterans will be allowed to submit applications.
Susan Barr, founder of Honor Flight Columbus, said they have more than 70 applications from Vietnam Veterans.
“The Korean War veterans there were not as many of those. And many have already seen their memorial, “said Barr. “We have about 200 applications from Korean War veterans.”
It costs more than $50,000 per flight. Each veteran is accompanied by a volunteer that tends to every need, including pushing their wheel chair, and helping with medications and food.
“Since we planned seven flights and we only have applications for a couple more, we need to get somebody else in those seats. And we opened it up to Vietnam Veterans and we are all excited,” said Barr.
Barr said there could be more than 600,000 Vietnam War veterans still living and it could take a few years to get them all to visit the Vietnam Wall.
Honor Flight is still giving priority to World War Two and Korean War veterans. Barr said they hope to get Vietnam veterans on a fall flight.
The public is encouraged to greet the veterans when they return from Washington, D.C. Saturday night. Those interested should be at Port Columbus by 9 p.m. when the flight is expected to arrive.
Visit www.honorflightcolumbus.org for more information on how you can help.