Honor Flight to take off Saturday

A group of 102 area veterans will take a daylong trip to Washington, D.C., on Saturday during the ninth edition of the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight.

They will spend the day visiting the memorials to veterans in the nation’s capital. And when they return home at night flight organizers hope to have a big and enthusiastic crowd at Fort Dodge Regional Airport to welcome them.

”It’s a long fun-filled day for the veterans, but I honestly believe that the welcome home crowd at Fort Dodge Regional Airport is the icing on the cake for them,” said Crystal McGaughy, a member of the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight Committee.

There will be nine World War II veterans and 93 Korean War veterans on the flight. They’ll be joined by volunteer helpers called guardians, some medical personnel and members of the Honor Flight committee.

The flight will take off from Fort Dodge at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

”Anyone is welcome to come out and give them a great sendoff,” McGaughy said.

The group will fly to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. There, everyone will board buses that will take them into Washington to see the World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

The trip will also feature a visit to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The group will visit the Iowa Jima Memorial before boarding the buses for the return trip to Dulles International Airport.

The plane is expected to land at Fort Dodge Regional Airport at 10:30 p.m.

McGaughy said people wanting to welcome the veterans home should get to the airport by about 9:30 p.m. She added that some paper and other material will be available at the airport so that people can make posters and signs.

The Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight Committee still has applications on file from veterans who want to make the trip to Washington. McGaughy said those applications will be saved in case enough money can be raised for a 10th flight.

”It all has to do with raising enough funds,” she said.

She said an Honor Flight trip costs about $100,000.

The first Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight was held in 2010.