Second 2013 Brushy Creek Honor Flight scheduled

About 100 more Korean War veterans will be able to travel to Washington, D.C., this fall on the second Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight to be held this year.

Organizers of the event announced the Sept. 7 flight Tuesday.

A May 11 trip was previously scheduled, and all the veterans who will be traveling on that one have been notified, according to Ron Newsum, the president of the committee that organizes the flights.

Newsum said roughly 270 veterans applied for a seat after plans for the May 11 trip were announced earlier this year. He said the second flight was added in an effort to make the experience available to more of the veterans. About 100 veterans can travel on a flight.

The Honor Flight program takes veterans to the nation’s capital to see the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial.

The local Honor Flight group conducted five trips for World War II veterans in 2010 and 2011.

”I’m impressed by how many people were affected and how deeply it affected them,” Newsum said.

Veterans will be accompanied by volunteer escorts called guardians. A physician and three nurses will also be on the trip.

The veterans do not have to pay for the flight. Newsum said they have ”paid their dues already.”

He said the committee is now trying to raise the needed money to send the veterans to Washington. It costs about $600 per veteran.

”It just amazes me the amount of dollars we’ve been able to raise in the last four years,” Newsum said. ”I’m so proud of our local givers, including small businesses and people giving small amounts.”

Crystal McGaughy, a member of the Honor Flight committee, said the group is hoping to get some additional fund raising support from surrounding counties.

”Ultimately each county is responsible for raising the funds to send their veterans,” she said.

”Anything they can do, we’re happy with,” she added. ”It’s amazing what these small communities can do when they put their mind to it.”

Guardians accompanying the veterans will have to pay $600.

The 2013 Honor Flights will operate much like the ones conducted in 2010 and 2011. They will leave Fort Dodge Regional Airport at about 7 a.m. and will 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. The group will return to Fort Dodge at night.

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