67th mission of Great River Honor Flight to depart from Hannibal-LaGrange University on Thursday

Vets at WWII Memorial copy

Great River Honor Flight veterans are greeted at World War II Memorial during a recent mission. | Photo courtesy of Carlos Fernandez

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Great River Honor Flight’s 67th mission will take place on Thursday, Sept. 14, leaving from Hannibal LaGrange University.

The program, which started serving the state region in 2010, has seen 2,129 local veterans who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and between those conflicts participate in the program. This trip will increase that total to 2,162.

Thirty-three veterans will take part on this trip. Four served during the Korean Conflict more than 68 years ago, 23 served during the Vietnam era and the remaining six served before or after Vietnam. The veterans represent the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Two veterans are brothers who served during Vietnam. Two veterans are cousins, one who served in Vietnam and the other before it. One veteran has more than 35 years in the military, spanning from Vietnam to Desert Storm.

The 33 veterans come from Adams, Pike, Hancock and McDonough counties in Illinois, Marion, Ralls and Monroe in Missouri and one from Lee County in Iowa.

The veterans will tour the Vietnam Wall Memorial and nearby Korea and Lincoln Memorials. The next stop will include the World War II Memorial and a group picture taken near the Washington Monument. Other stops on the trip include the Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery (including seeing the ceremonial changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier), a stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial and then dinner at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue. A charter bus will bring them back to the Mabee Sports Complex at HLGU for a rousing homecoming, with an expected arrival time around 10:15 p.m.

Great River Honor Flight, a Missouri nonprofit corporation established in October of 2009, was created to honor America’s veterans who live in our area for all they have sacrificed by providing, free of charge, transportation to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.

For additional information, contact Carlos Fernandez at csfernandez1951@gmail.com or Great River Honor Flight, P.O. Box 3723, Quincy, IL 62305.

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