Honor Flight secures funds for May 11

Ongoing donations have cemented the finances of a Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight trip for Korean War veterans this spring, and organizers of the event are contemplating another such voyage later in the year.

The May 11 trip has been paid for, according to Ron Newsum, the president of the committee that organizes the flights which take veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the nation’s war memorials.

”We’ve had a lot of success raising the dollars – far better than I originally anticipated,” he said.

One of the large donations to the effort came from CJ Bio America, which is building a plant in the industrial park west of Fort Dodge called Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation. The company contributed $10,000.

”It boils down to the core values of the company,” said Luke Palmer, general affairs manager for CJ Bio America. ”We strive to support those that support us.”

The company is part of CJ CheilJedang Corp., based in South Korea.

”CJ wouldn’t be able to be the company that it is today if it wasn’t for the service of the Korean War veterans and what they did to secure the safety of South Korea,” Palmer said.

The donation isn’t the first effort the company has made to recognize Korean War veterans.

A Korean War veteran, Don Jordison, of Fort Dodge, participated in the May 14, 2012, plant groundbreaking ceremony and an official described him then as a symbol of the close relationship between South Korea and Iowa.

Another $10,000 donation came from the AMVETS, according to Newsum.

He said the committee is now in the process of trying to set up a potential second flight this year. He said donations are being sought to pay for it.

If that flight occurs, it will be the second one for area Korean War veterans, but the seventh one conducted by the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight organization. That group conducted five flights for World War II veterans in 2010 and 2011. The May 11 flight will be the sixth voyage.

Although Korean War veterans are the focus of the upcoming flight, World War II veterans are invited to apply for a seat on the trip as well. Newsum said World War II veterans and those former service members who are terminally ill will be given priority.

About 110 veterans can go on a flight.

Veterans will not have to pay for their trip.

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

The veterans and guardians will board buses there that will take them to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial. The group will fly back to Fort Dodge that night.