More Northwest Iowa Veterans Take Special Charter Flight To Washington DC

Sioux Center, Iowa — Some 80 veterans got a chance to visit armed forces memorials in Washington DC this Tuesday. The Sioux Center-based Midwest Honor Flight headed up the effort.

The veterans are from northwest Iowa as well as South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Since its launch in 2017, Midwest Honor Flight has flown more than 16 hundred veterans to DC, though board president and CEO Aaron Van Beek says a lot has changed since that first flight seven years ago.

Van Beek says with six flights scheduled for this year alone, it’s a big bill, but they’ve got it covered.

The tour includes stops at Arlington National Cemetery to see the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Iwo Jima, and Air Force Memorials, the Navy Memorial, and the World War Two, Korean War, and Vietnam War Memorials complete the tour. Five of the six flights this year are sponsored, he says, and sponsors provide most of the cost for a flight and receive naming rights.

Van Beek says all veterans from World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam are welcome to apply, but World War Two veterans and veterans with terminal medical diagnoses receive top priority for any flight. He says the waiting list never seems to go below 750, but he doesn’t want that to discourage veterans from applying. Not only does it get a veteran on the list, but Van Beek says it helps with fundraising and obtaining flight sponsors.

(Courtesy fellow Community First Broadcasting station KSOU in Sioux Center)

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