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Old Glory Honor Flight eager to resume its mission

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 2:11 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - For hundreds of Northeast Wisconsin veterans waiting to go on an Old Glory Honor Flight to Washington D.C., hope is on the horizon.

The postponement of flights due to the pandemic could be lifted this summer.

For more than a decade, Old Glory Honor Flight was like a well-oiled machine, flying more than 5,800 veterans on 53 missions.

But like all honor flight hubs across the country, Old Glory’s flights have been grounded for over a year.

“It is an extremely long time and you know when your mission is to fly vets and serve them the way we do, to not do it is just counter to our goal and what we’re trying to achieve, so it’s very disorienting I think is a good word,” says Chris Berkers, Old Glory Honor Flight President.

With flights cancelled in all of 2020, and three more this spring, more than 500 veterans are currently on the waiting list to fly.

“The clock is ticking and you know, the sense of urgency doesn’t go away for us, we’ve just been put on hold and we had our trip planned to Korea and unfortunately we’ve lost several of those vets already and every year when a season starts, we start making those phone calls, there’s some that just won’t be able to make that last trip,” says Berkers.

The National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and museums in Washington D.C. remain closed to large groups and all honor flights are suspended through August 15th.

Right now, Old Glory has a flight scheduled at the end of August, as well as one in September and October, and there’s a possibility there could be more.

“We’ve done two airplanes before out of Appleton International Airport, so it’s always something we’re going to consider and always try and do to try and get our vets to see the memorials built in their honor, that’s our mission, our primary mission is to fly and as soon as we’re allowed to fly, we’re going to fly,” says Berkers.

In the meantime, veterans are encouraged to visit Old Glory Honor Flight’s website, https://www.oldgloryhonorflight.org/or Facebook page to stay connected and receive updates.

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