Great River Honor Flight Mission 70 will depart Thursday for Washington, D.C.

Van Kamp vet

Vietnam Navy veteran Charles Van Camp participated in Great River Honor Flight Mission No. 67 on Sept. 14, 2023, accompanied by his guardian daughter, Kim Johannes. | Photo courtesy of Carlos Fernandez

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Great River Honor Flight Board of Directors announced the second mission of 2024, No. 70 overall, will take place on Thursday, May 30, leaving from and returning to Hannibal-LaGrange University.

Thirty-three veterans will take part in this trip, with 31 serving during the Vietnam era. These men represent the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Army Reserves.

In celebration of the upcoming Father’s Day, 10 veterans will be joined by a son or daughter as their guardian for this trip. Six veterans will be joined by a brother. A total of 2,226 local veterans who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and between those conflicts have previously participated in this program since it launched in 2010.

The 33 veterans of Mission 70 come from Illinois (Adams, McDonough, Henderson and Hancock counties), Missouri (Marion, Ralls, Lincoln, Warren, Shelby and St. Charles counties) and Iowa (Lee and Des Moines counties).

The itinerary used during the past 15 years will be used again. It starts with a 2:30 a.m. departure for a bus ride to Lambert Field in St. Louis. They will board a flight to Baltimore and then on to Washington, D.C.

While in Washington D.C., the veterans will visit the Vietnam Wall, Korea Memorial, WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Navy Memorial and see the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

The veterans will then head to Reagan International Airport for their return flight to St. Louis. They will arrive back in Hannibal by charter bus and will be taken to the HLGU basketball arena for a homecoming. The expected arrival time is approximately 10:15 p.m.

The remaining missions planned for 2024 are:

  • No. 71 – Thursday, June 27 – leaving from John Wood Community College
  • No. 72 – Thursday, Aug. 15 – leaving from Hannibal-LaGrange University
  • No. 73 – Thursday, Sept. 12 – leaving from John Wood Community College
  • No. 74 – Thursday, Oct. 10 – leaving from Hannibal-LaGrange University

Great River Honor Flight was chartered on Veterans Day 2009, with its first flight on April 13, 2010. At that time, all the veterans were from World War II. The Board of Directors eventually decided to expand the program to veterans who served during the Korean War. The program has been expanded to include veterans during the Vietnam War as well as those who served between WWII, Korea and Vietnam and veterans serving through 1985.

Great River Honor Flight’s goal is to honor local veterans who served this country with a free trip to Washington, D.C.

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

Veterans participating on Great River Honor Flight Mission 70

AFVAndersonSteveHannibalMarionMOA
VietAyersKennyNew LondonRallsMOAR
VietBlackRexTroyLincolnMOAF
VietBurrRodLomaxHendersonILN
VietCoonsMikeHannibalMarionMON
VietDahlJohnBurlingtonDes MoinesIAN
VietDandeneauGerryWright CityWarrenMON
VietDarlingJohnnyShelbinaShelbyMOA
VietFedlerRonaldWest PointLeeIAA
VietGreenupRonStoutsvilleMonroeMOA
VietHendrenRonNew LondonRallsMOCG
VietKnottsDavidBurlingtonDes MoinesIAA
AFVLeathermanBrendaLentnerShelbyMOAF
AFVLeathermanPhilLentnerShelbyMOAF
VietLeeJohnMacombMcDonoughILA
VietMaerzMikeKeokukLeeIAM
VietMaerzPaulKeokukLeeIAA
VietManley, Jr.GlennCenterRallsMOM
VietMontagueDennisSavertonRallsMOA
VietPipkinHaroldHannibalMarionMOA
VietRayRichNew LondonRallsMOAF
VietRowleyTomBurlingtonDes MoinesIAM
VietRudd Jr.HaroldQuincyAdamsILA
VietRudd Sr.MarkWentzvilleSt. CharlesMOA
VietSchillingRobertKeokukLeeIAA
VietShoemakerLindsayLaHarpeHancockILM
VietStrubeLynnNew LondonRallsMON
VietSwonKenPerryRallsMOA
VietWestermeyerPaulKeokukLeeIAA
VietWisenerEdWest BurlingtonDes MoinesIAM
VietWisenerRayBurlingtonDes MoinesIAM
VietYagerDavidCenterRallsMOA
VietYatesTonyMonroe CityMonroeMOANG

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