Honor Flight takes off in May

The next trip of the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight will take Korean War veterans and some of their World War II counterparts to Washington, D.C., this spring.

The voyage from Fort Dodge to the nation’s capital will be on May 11, Honor Flight organizers announced Thursday. Ron Newsum, the Fort Dodge man who leads the local Honor Flight board, said details of the trip were finalized Wednesday evening.

He said about 110 veterans will be on the flight to see the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial and other attractions in Washington.

The Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight program took more than 500 World War II veterans to Washington on five previous flights in 2010 and 2011.

”Being able to offer the trip to a new group, the Korean War veterans, so that they can see the memorials that are there in their honor is one really, really good reason to get this going again,” said Crystal McGaughy, a member of the Honor Flight board.

Veterans who are selected to make the trip do not have to pay for anything. The Honor Flight board is seeking donations to pay for the excursion.

Newsum said it costs about $600 to take a single veteran on the trip. He said he’s encouraging potential donors to consider sponsoring a veteran by contributing $600. Contributions of any amount will help, he added.

All donations will help to pay for the flight. Local flight organizers are not paid, and none of the money is sent to any national organization.

Applications from veterans interested in going on the trip are still being accepted. For the Honor Flight, a person is considered a Korean War veteran if they served one day of active military duty between June 1, 1950, and Jan. 31, 1955.

World War II veterans and veterans who are terminally ill will be given top priority for the flight, according to Newsum.

The veterans will be accompanied by escorts called guardians. The guardians will have to pay $600 for their trip.

A doctor and a couple of nurses will also be on the trip.

The flight will leave Fort Dodge Regional Airport at about 7 a.m. on May 11 and travel to Dulles International Airport in the Virginia suburbs of Washington. There, the veterans and guardians will board buses that will take them to the monuments. They will also visit Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The final stop for the day will be the Iwo Jima Memorial in Virginia.

The veterans will return to Fort Dodge that night.