Ninety-one area veterans are making their way to Washington, D.C. for the 13th Never Forgotten Honor Flight.
The flight will allow 33 World War II veterans, 55 Korean War Veterans and three Vietnam War veterans to see the memorials in Washington, D.C. Created in their honor.
The Never Forgotten Honor Flight Hub based in Wausau serves veterans in Marathon, Portage, Wood, Taylor, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Iron, Barron, Price and Rusk.
The Honor Flight provides dozens of wheelchairs at the airports and at the memorials for veterans. Some of the wheelchairs are loaned from area health care providers, and recently the inmates at the Redgranite Correctional Facility in Redgranite, refurbished and restored about 20 wheelchairs that had been donated to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight.
Sixty guardians are accompanying the veterans on the trip to assist them on their whirlwind one-day round trip. The flight departed Central Wisconsin Airport at 7:00 a.m. and is scheduled to return at approximately 9:30 p.m.
When asked what it will be like to see those memorials, Bob Biederwolf said, "It's a time to remember, a time to pay respects for people who made the ultimate sacrifice for us for our country and for our families, a time for me, a time to say a prayer and remember." Then Marty Schultz said, "He says it all, I don't know what else to add to it, its a time for reflection, remembering all your old friends that you don't see anymore, it's kind of sad but it's a joyful thing too."
The public is invited to the Central Wisconsin Airport to welcome the veterans home Monday night, and Honor Flight officials recommend arriving by 8:30 p.m.
Free parking for those welcoming the veterans home will be provided.
"This next flight will bring the total number of veterans we've honored to 1,221," said Mike Thompson, co-founder and president of the Never Forgotten Honor Flight organization.
"We will fly again October 21 and are planning two more trips next spring. We encourage any veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to submit an application as soon as possible."
Click here to fill out an application to be a veteran on the next flight, or to be a guardian.
Enter Zip Code for Custom Weather